On her way to school, 17-year-old Melissa Frazier heard gun shots as she was approaching her high school in the North Lawndale community. It was approximately 8:30 a.m. She figured it was for her so she ran. People never know what to expect in the community, because it is things like this that will never change.
By the time Melissa was done running, she stopped to see if everything was clear. She was afraid for her life, and started thinking, “When will it end?” This story is about teens living life everyday like it is their last. Due to the high rate of gun violence and gang affiliations in the North Lawndale community, they feel their time will come any minute.
Some teens believe in change and some are afraid to initiate change in their community. It is mostly about who is brave enough to stand up for change and put in the effort to make it happen. No one should ever be afraid of walking to school, because they are worried about losing their life due to gun violence. Not even just school, people should be able to go wherever they please without worrying if that will be the last trip they take.
There are plenty of people who wonder, “Will the North Lawndale community still be the way it is 10 years from now? There is no one who could answer this question, aside from those committing the crimes. What people could do is make big predictions, make a difference themselves, and pray to the best of their ability.
Change does not come easy. It is going to take hard work and dedication. Innovators must capture the people’s mind and attention, to show them how much they need this change. Put themselves in someone else’s shoes, as their capturing their attention, and think about the North Lawndale community in a different way.
Encourage the people to ask themselves: What will this do for me? my loved ones?, or even my community? Is this violence really what they want?
It will do a lot for them. Teenagers cannot throw their life away just for revenge or a “lick back.” Other things in life are way bigger than payback. Life is so precious. People should just let it go and move on with their lives. There is so much to live for, such as their family, and their future.
Who knows where they will be 10 years from now? They could become a police officer, a business person, or even the president. All because they moved on with their life and let it go, while the other person is somewhere behind bars suffering for the crime they committed and wishing they never did.
No one wins in this life from wrong doings. Even if they do not get caught right away, they will be soon. Life is bigger then what it seems; there are so many experiences to appreciate, if they WANT too. Criminals and gang members made their choices in life and they decide where they want to be in life. Everything is up to THEM.
And that brings people back to the question: How do people see the North Lawndale Community 10 years from now? How will the community change? What will it do for them 10 years from now if things change?
People see North Lawndale as a happy, beautiful, non-violent community. A place they call home, a place where they live everyday life with no worries. Everyone is laughing, and bonding with one another; not afraid to be themselves without worrying about gun violence. Doing what they want to do and going where they want to go.
” At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Written by Tynesia Cabil
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Body Buildings’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License