Can we make our communities happier and safer places?

Do you live in South Leeds? Are you passionate about your community? Are you constantly despairing about your community’s state of affairs? Who do you think holds the answer to your concerns? You do. Yes – YOU do.

Middleton East clean up
Clean up volunteers in Middleton.
Photograph courtesy Aire Valley Homes

Today I will introduce my vision and passion for a positively diverse and inclusive community. It may be useful to honestly answer some of the questions I have listed below as they are indicators of an obviously worrisome situation.

  • Do you cringe every time you hear something hit your window? Why?
  • Are you one of those who park their cars off the street and systematically check that their car has not been scratched, wipers tampered with, wing mirrors broken, tyres not punctured? Why?
  • Do you get scared when your child is not in the house by a certain time and you do not particularly know where they are? Why?
  • If you see a crime being committed, do you alert the authorities? Why oh why not?
  • If you hear that your neighbour has been a victim of some crime, do you offer your support in one way or another or do you just look the other way, and are not bothered because it has not happened to you? Why or why not?
  • Do you leave your dog’s mess on the street, pavement or someone else’s garden? Let’s suppose this is because you have not trained your dog well or whatever your reason, but would it hurt you to claen up afterwards? Imagine someone let their dog foul on your door-step?
  • Who is your neighbour? Do you speak to them? Why not? Suppose you are not used to them as they have just moved into the neighbourhood, but is it not then up to you to make them feel welcome? Is it because they are “different” from you? So what? Where in this world are you going to turn to and find one group with exactly the same identity? If the gender is not different, the age will probably be different. Or their sexual orientation? Or their ethnicity? Or their religious belief? Or their race? Or their disability? Difference exists and it is up to you and me to celebrate it because we can not do away with it.

Let us look out for one another. I will not shy away and keep to myself because I am not the victim. It could me next time. Let us stand up and stand out in building a healthy and diverse community. Instead of shunning diversity, let us celebrate it. You will be surprised at what diversity and inclusion will do to our community.

Be the one to stop that bad things happening. It does not matter who you are or whatever your background is. This community belongs to you and me. Change begins with you and me and no one else.

Do you believe this? Watch this space…


This article was written by Sithembile Moyo using our Community Reporters website

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