Remember the days when an entire neighborhood or community would join together for a common cause? Remember the days when everyone would try to assist each other the best they knew how? I know that Paterson has always had struggles but when I was growing up Paterson was not what I see today. If people fought it was with their fists not with guns.
Recently, there has been an uprising of sorts by members of the community in response to the killings that have occurred. Equally, there has been an uprising in criticisms of the people in the community who have voiced their opposition to the violence that’s occurred recently. What I can’t comprehend is the reason for the criticisms. We all live here together, right?
Does it really matter who launched the “anti-violence” movement in Paterson? Does it matter who got the ball rolling in the community? If we are all working together then it shouldn’t. We have a tendency to cut one another off at the knees if we suspect the next person is trying to upstage us in anyway. Why is that? Why can’t we just learn to unite on all causes?
And then there’s the subject of religion: why should anyone’s religious beliefs suspend them from getting involved within the community? When it comes to violence, it affects everyone. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I think we all need to leave our egos on the sidewalk and learn that each of us can do our part to help spread the word that violence isn’t the answer.
Many people talk about the economic component in Paterson being the leading cause. I agree. However, I’ve been struggling for four years. It has been difficult for my family and I, we have serious economic problems right now but I’m not contemplating on going out and killing someone or robbing a store to feed my family. I trust God will provide for us in time.
The gist of the message is that we can all do our part to make Paterson a safer place to live. No single organization, club, civic or religious institution can accomplish this alone. It will take the collective efforts of the entire village pulling together for one goal. Until we understand that and stop fighting amongst ourselves for power – violence will continue.
In conclusion, I’d like to quote Jimmy Hendrix “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Corey L. Teague
School board member