Charlotte Marshall Murray
Keeping our Children Safe is Paramount
Do you remember when it was fun to be a kid? As children we loved to play outside with our friends after school. Summer time was a big treat because there were endless ours we had to play all of our favorite games. Games such as tag, one, two three, red light/green light, hot bread and butter, and the infamous hide and go seek were all time favorites. We loved to get into the water plug on those extremely hot days and wet each other up. As the cars drove pass we sat on the water to make a sprinkler so that the passing car could get wet. Life was great. We felt safe as we wandered our neighborhood going on other blocks or streets if you called them to play with the other kids. Our parents did not have to worry too much about our safety because everyone looked out for each other. Communities were truly communities and it definitely was a village raising its children. Unfortunately things have drastically changed. Violence has plagued our communities and instead of hearing the sound of children playing and laughing, we hear the sound of silence.
Physical activity has been replaced with items such as cell phones, Xbox 360, PlayStation systems and hand held games. The days of children playing outside have become a distant memory. The reason for this change in behavior is the increase in violence on our streets. Children across this country are being hurt and even killed. Unthinkable acts of violence against our children have parents fearing for their safety. Because of this fear it is easier to keep children in the house and entertained by technological devices. With the lack of physical activity comes a lot of other problems that the child has to face, one being overweight.
There is an epidemic in this country where we are seeing more of our children suffering from obesity than we have ever seen. This is a huge concern and problem that the first lady Michelle Obama has addressed on a national level but we have to come together on a local level to save our children from harm.
One of the biggest things we can do is bring back the old school way of how communities used to be. We have to report violence we see, be accountable for each other and help each other when needed. Children should be able to go outside and play and if they need to be protected for whatever reason by someone other than their parent then they should. We cannot continue with the thinking that “it’s not my child so I don’t care.” Everyone should care about the well-being and safety of every child that is reared and living in our neighborhoods. Our streets have to be safe for them to walk upon and play on. If they are not we fail them as adults because they look to us for guidance, protection, security and love. There are too many sites in our neighborhoods that are made into floral memorials because the life of a child has been lost. We should not have to see teddy bears, balloons and candy to honor the memory of another slain child. We have to honor our children now and the way that we do that is making them feel safe and protected. As citizens in our communities we have to make our streets safer for our children so that they too can have wonderful childhood memories of fun and not violence.