Recently a post by Annegb resulted in a comment by DKL which I found fascinating. In his comment, DKL mentions that he is tired of living in an area, where the people just don’t give a darn. He then had some interesting discussions with others about the issue. I can certainly relate to DKLs point of view. My wife and I live in a city that is overall very poor and racially mixed. We originally moved here as we loved working with the youth in our ward who lived here. We even had two kids from the ward live with us for a few years before they went to college – we looked at them as “our” kids since both of their parents were dead. That was the beginning of the end…

Before they moved in, our experience with the town was mostly positive as we worked with these wonderful youth and we were shielded from the garbage (both literal and figurative). Once the kids moved into our house and we started attending high school events & functions, interacting with their “friends”, and experiencing more of the city, it became very depressing. The goal of our “daughter’s” friends was to have a baby before they got out of high school and her friends were appalled when we required her to come home at 10PM when she was 14 (her friends had no curfews and routinely stayed out until 3AM). Our “son’s” friends were too busy dressing up like a gangster and trying to father as many children as possible (and getting arrested). It was frightening. There was a tremendous amount of disrespect for everything – garbage strewn anywhere, talking during speeches/events/assemblies, talking during the National Anthem, fights after sporting events with other teams, etc. It felt like we had gone from such a positive environment into the depths of hell (Note: this cut across all races and is a socioeconomic issue and not racial). Most depressing of all was the fact that many of the other parents did not seem to care and sometimes participated in the antics (one mother of a basketball team member attacked another adult from the other team once). In addition, once a week I have to walk around our yard picking up trash that people drop, not to mention hearing loud thumping music all hours of the night, drunks walking to and from the beach loudly yelling/talking late at night, spraying weedkiller and weedwhacking neighbor’s sidewalks/yards when I can to make the neighborhood look decent and, finally, having someone run our fence over when they were driving drunk going the wrong way up a one way street. In summary, it has caused me to have a very different view of the “inner city” and we cannot wait to move out of it. The sad part is that I once had a view that one could survive and thrive in the “inner city” and help others, now I think that survival is the best you can hope for and it is impossible to thrive and, in fact, you are often brought down in the process. Perhaps one can do more good from the outside. (Note: our “daughter” is in college despite this environment, while our “son” is half in/half out of the city life)