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Centretown News Online
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Backyard Beat
Thursday, 24 January 2013
By Const. Khoa N. Hoang
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Const. Khoa N. Hoang
The  holiday season is officially over  but  sadly the month of December saw two people killed in New York City when they were shoved in front of speeding trains. The most recent victim was a 41-year-old man, killed Dec. 28 after being pushed by an unknown woman, who has now been arrested.

Even more startling was the description by witnesses of a female suspect in her 20s, who many described as appearing mentally ill. Police are still trying to piece together what happened and the suspect managed to evade capture. Newspapers after newspapers had no problems finding enough people to talk about what they saw. Witnesses came forward to talk to reporters, all of them with vivid recollections of what happened. Many of them described that the woman appeared distraught, nervous, and simply out of it before she killed the man.

But none of them called police with their concerns, nobody cared enough to warn the man standing next to her, and nobody stepped in to stop her from simply walking away after killing an innocent person. Our society is becoming disconnected, preferring to rely more on public servants and less of each other as fellow citizens. We have become reliant on someone else to solve our problems and taking less ownership of our own roles as part of the solution.

Depression and anxiety has shifted focus from lifestyle and upbringing to become one of the highest rates of drug prescriptions in our city.  Alcoholism and gambling addiction is now argued as a medical condition. Everyone is looking for someone else, something else, to fix their problems. Children are no longer hearing that “you can be whatever you want” but instead they are observing too many peers and parents blame others for their problems. This is an unhealthy and troubling practice.

That helpless victim mentality has become a problem with so many of our population who lack capacity to actively become part of their own solution. We know that communities who do a good job at communicating with one another are more quickly to mobilize to solve their own problems. Numerous studies have shown that communities who play together stay together, have lower rates of families leaving the neighbourhood, and live healthier lives with lower levels of stress. They are the same communities that have lower crime rates because no one hesitates to take action where they can and call police when they can’t. These communities have higher property values because there is a level of community pride, which also comes with the best standard of living because they can mobilize to provide the most opportunities to succeed for one another.

Living on my street is an elderly neighbour whose husband died a few years ago.  She lives alone and simply can not lift a shovel full of snow let alone clear the two-car driveway in front of her house.  A snow removal company has been hired but they can’t guarantee when their services are available, especially during those difficult days with excessive snowfall.  So once I was done shovelling my driveway I walked across the street to hers, not because I had to or because she needed me, but because I can, I care, and I will.  Our capacity lies within what we are able and willing to do.

The NYPD has arrested that 5-foot-5 woman in her 20s, actually 31 years old to be exact, who, in front of multiple witnesses managed to kill an unsuspecting man and simply walk away from a crowded New York City subway terminal without a single person intervening. I am not asking our citizens to become police officers but wish we took more pride in the community we lived in, to do our part in maintaining a safe place for our families and empower each other to do what we can.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 October 2013 )
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