Friday, September 3, 2010

The Paths We Choose

I am not sure if this is the right title for this blog this evening...

My thoughts are wrapped around how people choose to live.

By choice.

I daily drive through a few lower income neighborhoods. I also drive by some pricey downtown condominiums.

As I drive by the lower income neighborhoods, I am amaze by several things.
I notice that this is a diverse neighborhood. There are mostly Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanic families that live here. There are churches of many denominations.
I see graffiti and I have seen a drug deal "go down".
I see children playing, neighbors chatting, and people enjoying life. I also see parents waiting with children to board school buses and I see parents waiting for them to get off buses. When driving through the weekends I see baseball games, with huge turn outs.
I see drunks trying to walk a straight path, homeless people passing by, and occasionally I see a tired young prostitute walking in the early hours.
Most of these people appear to be hard working people. Some appear to be freeloaders.
Most of these homes are well kept. Flowers, gardens, even several hang those Tomato Topsy Turvies things with lush tomato plants hanging out. Some are not so well kept with high grass, broken glass and junk in the yard. Many have furniture sitting on the front porches.
With Halloween around the corner (okay... I agree, we still have 8 weeks, but if it is in the stores...) I am already seeing the "artwork" begin. Massive spider webs, and those giant air filled characters, pumpkins and such. This will continue throughout all the holidays, with the Mother of them all (Or should I say Father) Christmas with elaborate light displays that stay on all night. I also notice that although money may be tight, I see a ton of satellite dishes, as well as other items that are not inexpensive. I am curious as to why people would chose to spend their hard earned dollars on the like.
These people for the most part enjoy the lives that God has given them. They make the best of them and do what they gotta do. I hear and see people singing, playing guitars and I hear laughter.

The upper class condominium neighborhoods?
I see runners and joggers. I see dog walkers. I see expensive clothing and expensive gadgets. I see posh furniture gleaming out the windows. I see expense cars. I see restaurants.
I see homeless wander through. I see some gang activity occasionally. I hear a loud ghetto blaster pouring out of a passing car.
That's about it.

I don't see children. I don't see neighbors chatting. I don't see holiday greetings. I don't hear laughter.

I wonder if the wealthy get too caught up in the high society world and forget to sit back and enjoy life?

Do you need to be a little humbled to appreciate life and make it the best you can?

I ponder this. I do believe we choose the lives we live to a point. Situations happen that can turn a world upside down in a nano second. I do believe you need to accept and make the best rather than complain and whine. I do believe it can be easy to get to caught up when one is privilege and forgets to relax and enjoy.

Of course I am not talking about everyone. We all have a story. We all live a life and see things differently.

But I do wonder. What if we took a good look at what we have and what we don't. Maybe remembering to be thankful for what we do, and to remember to LIVE isn't such a bad idea.


ellen abbott said...

Oh Janis, I know exactly what you mean. When I first moved into my city house it was in a neighborhood like you describe...racially mixed, age mixed working class. Small cottages with porches and yards, families. Everyone tolerant just trying to get by. Now, the trend id to the inner city. Neighborhoods are being gentrified. cottages are being torn down and block after block of condos and town homes without porches, without a welcoming face, streets lined with garages with the narrow condos hiding behind. No yards for the dogs they all have, no children because there are no yards. And all white. We fled.

Linda said...

This is a very thought-provoking post, Janis, and I see a lot of truths here.

Though, I'm still of the firm belief that life is all about the choices we make. I see it evident in the lives of some of those I know, who have continued to make bad choices over and over again and then they wonder why things work out the way they do.

I also see that hard work is often behind those who prosper and those who don't. I'm very much about free enterprise and if someone can work hard and achieve much, then all the more power to them. I've seen happiness and not in all sorts of neighborhoods, but the one that I grew up in, which would be considered mildly prosperous was a WONDERFUL place to grow up :)