Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Realization

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to a low-flying helicopter going back and forth around my neighborhood. I knew what was going on before I even got up to look out the window. Sure enough, the helicopter was buzzing around shining the spotlight looking for someone who was running from some kind of crime, no doubt.

Thank goodness it's not like that's an every day occurrence around here. I know in some neighborhoods it's probably more common. But, it has happened enough over the last 11 years that I've lived here that I know what's happening. I crawled back in bed and started to go back to sleep. As I laid there I realized how little that incident affected me. I guess you could write it off as me being desensitized. Since I've lived in my neighborhood, though, I've never been scared of things like that--helicopters, gunshots, etc. So many of my friends--kids and adults--have told me that things like that scare them. They talk about locking and re-locking their doors at night and cringing when they hear gunshots or police cars and things like that.

What dawned on me this morning is the fact that when something like that happens around me, it's not as personal to me as it is to someone who grew up here or in a similar, possibly much rougher neighborhood.

I thank God for allowing me to live in this neighborhood so that I can understand what the media sensationalizes versus what is real. There is so much more to my neighborhood than just low-flying helicopters, gun shots, and police raids. I thank God that He has allowed me to be a part of a life that is much different than the way I grew up. However, I realize no matter how long I live here, I may never internalize the fear like someone who has grown up hearing gunshots, someone who has had to deal with strangers who are sometimes high or drunk as they walk home from school or catch the bus (because their parents don't have transportation).

I do thank God that my life hasn't been affected like some people's lives. But as I thank God for protecting me, I am very conscious of the fact that others haven't been so insulated from frightening and unjust incidents.
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