For the past year or so, I’ve been working in not the greatest neighborhood in Milwaukee. Okay, so it probably has the highest crime rate in ALL of Milwaukee. For real. In light of all of these terrible shootings that have been going on, I’ve been doing some thinking. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced the loss of a person most close to me, but these deaths seem to really be pulling on my heartstrings in a bad way. I know I seem like I’m just chasing imaginary bunnies right now and my thoughts are all over the place but let me explain the correlation between me working in a crime laden area and the shooting that took place in Brookfield, more specifically.

While watching all of the coverage involving the shooting at the Azana spa, I happened to catch an interview of a woman saying, “This doesn’t happen in Brookfield.”  That comment has really stuck out in my head over the past couple of days. What do you mean, “this doesn’t happen in Brookfield”.. Do people honestly think that because of their socioeconomic class or because of where they live that it means they will never encounter bad people? I continued to read the article which stated:

Residents largely view the Milwaukee suburbs as safe and relatively removed from the worries of urban life. “This doesn’t happen in Brookfield,” said Christine Carpenter, 24, who works at a drugstore not far from the spa and on Sunday evening was still trying to grasp what had happened. “You think good neighborhood, good schools — this stuff doesn’t happen to us.” (NY Times)

I guess living in the city really causes me to have a biased opinion about this statement and feel very distraught by it. When did safety switch from an inherent human right to something that should be paid for or granted because you live in a certain area? This is where I tie my two ends of my thoughts together.. to me, any time someone is shot, stabbed and ultimately robbed of their life: IT IS SAD. Yes, some situations are more sad than others. Innocent people dying in a hair salon is tragic and will weigh on the hearts of many people for a long, long time if not forever. In my mind, even when there is a shooting in a bad neighborhood and that person may have been involved in a gang, doing drugs or committing crimes — they are still someone’s child, parent, friend — it barely even makes the news. How sad is that?  That death is still going to weigh on the heart of someone who loved them — and in my eyes no one DESERVES to die, no matter what. I know this might make some of you angry, but that is just the way I feel. After experiencing the emotions that came along with death and despair, I can tell you — they never go away. There is always something missing in your heart that you’ll never get back.

I guess the point of my whole thing is just to say, maybe we should start thinking about being better people as a whole community, rather than just moving away to a place where crime “shouldn’t happen”. How about instead we adopt the mindset that crime shouldn’t happen.. ANYWHERE. Bad things happen to good people all the time in many unexpected places. I just want to open the eyes of people to realize that this kind of stuff happens to people everyday — and we need to be aware of that. ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that since the beginning of 2012, there are 57 people and counting on the City of Milwaukee homicide database and I’m sure some people don’t even know that because it’s barely publicized since it’s in a “bad part of town”.That is crazy. All of those people meant something to someone.. I guess I just ask you to remember that.

Be nice to someone today that you might not have been nice to normally, it could really change their outlook on life and maybe this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen. I’m just going to keep killing the world with kindness and politeness one day at a time, so that I know I’m at least trying to make a difference.. even if it is minimal.