Two NBA players this past week were reported to have gotten into an argument and pulled guns on each other in their locker room. Filled with gangster inspired tattoos, attitudes and dress styles, these overgrown children still serve as role models for our children. How sad. If we haven’t gotten the message yet, these are bad role models, just like Tiger Woods and Kanye West. These guys can play ball or entertain the world. But so did Minstrels in post slavery days who also were not good role models for our children. They make big money but so do drug dealers and pimps who are not great role models for our children either.
If you think it’s time to replace these Dennis Rodman inspired overgrown children with role models that the children can really immulate and make us proud, let's start clubs like the Young Eagles from Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles who I recently read about.
They started businesses, like Home Boys Industries from East Los Angeles, where the Catholic church supported the creation of a Bakery and a restaurant to give jobs for the young people as an alternative to the economics of the street industries like drugs, prostitution and theft.
We spend too much time talking about the crime and waiting on someone to do something about it. Jesus didn’t wait on some one else to solve problems. He used his power to solve problems and then He inspired and empowered us to solve the problems. In the meantime, many people are sitting around with folded arms waiting on Jesus, waiting on Barack Obama, or waiting on the Welfare department, whichever shows up first, to solve their problems. We each must adopt a motto that says, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”
If you have a few hours a week, look around your neighborhood and figure out a way to do something to provide an alternative to the streets for young people in the community. There are many of existing organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and a bunch of opportunities for new clubs like the Eagles and Homeboy industries to be built.
The Bible in the parable of the talents inspires us to not sit on our talents but to take our talents to improve our condition and in the process help someone else. Yes you may need to provide some of your own money and your time, but you will be rewarded in many ways.
Start a Drama Club in your community if drama is your thing. Start a club to teach young men to build things and they can help older people to “fix up” their homes. Or start a neighborhood science and technology club, or a community choir or band if you're into music.
The point is, Do Something in 2010, besides complain about the condition of our neighborhoods. Help put the gangs out of business by developing alternatives because if you spend all your time talking to them you are probably wasting your time. It’s kind of like telling your spouse you love them over and over again. That’s nice but doing something to demonstrate that love goes a long way.
One idea might be to develop a clothes making or tailoring club to make non-gangster type clothing.