Rogers Park is a dense and diverse community. Its newcomers insist on a crime free existance. Its natives recognize that Chicago is getting better, but with a few bumps on the way. Some neighborhoods get bumped harder than others at times. Certainly, the school system re-orients itself. Devoted children and their parents find public school alternatives. Others rush to judgment by leaving or support the parochial, religious and private school systems. Life has its challenges.
People get jobs; people lose jobs. Gangs attract those in need of attention and more devoted communities and parents; Police arrest the thugs who are compelled to get too much attention or fast money, among other things. Life in a densely populated City has its bumps and bruises. It also has its advantages. Most of us find solace, when we improve our neighborhood, rather than dwell on every nook and cranny at every moment.
It is now nearly eleven consecutive years in Rogers Park, but twenty-two years on the North side. I have never lived in a community that had five murders in one weekend. I regret hearing about the five lost lives in Country Club Hills over this weekend. Rogers Park as a community should continue to positively re-direct those prone to randomly questionably provocative or violent outburst. Strangely, I understand that some who comment no longer live here. Good manners are not just the responsibility of politicians. Let's communicate, but try to work with Rogers Park Community Groups to improve the area. Running around with pitchforks and torches ignore challenges and create more chaos. Let's anticipate that if we are unwilling to enjoy what we have, then others may take that joy from us. Carpe diem.
When the warmth sets in, we can walk with those neighbors who want to walk. We can assist with the art festivals, garden walks, and home history tours. We can walk our beaches and bike the paths both north and south. We can elevate to the ball games. We can secure beach front for one reason or another in the early morning. We can enjoy our gardens, jungle gyms, parks, and zoos (yes, Indian Boundary and Lincoln Park).
If you are in Beat 2424, then you have a number of opportunities to leash the dog and head out with Bernard Garbo, among others. Meet your neighbors, act responsibly, take care of your block when others won't. Enjoy your surroundings, discover your options and above all, smile! We haven't had a Country Club Hills experience nor do I expect one. Life could always be better, but it is certainly good.