Feeling Alone Amongst Community

I started off asking "Jill" (name has been changed to protect her privacy) what she was passionate about, at which she stated "nothing" her husband is the passionate one... but then she went on to become passionate about so many topics.  The biggest of which is how we are failing our children.  Jill goes out nightly and rescues children from abusive homes and takes them someplace safe.  She see's how drugs can wreck a family, how abuse settles in and how children become lost and then angry...  and she has a special place in her heart for the teenagers.  They have been screwed and juggled around for so long that not only do they have regular raging teenage hormones, but they also have to deal with betrayal, instability and loss.  They don't know how to love because they haven't been taught and because of this, they have a hard time finding stability within foster homes.  

And what Jill believes is the fix in our children's lives?  Community.  Getting to know your neighbors, not feeling so alone and secluded.  If we try as adults to know our community - or even our own neighbors - then we show our children there are more people to rely on besides family.  But it's not easy, Jill herself says she has lived in her house in Seattle for 10 years and does not know her neighbors...  she claims they aren't friendly, but someone has to reach out and be the first friend.  We can't wait for others to be friendly to us, we have to be the change.  So I challenge you: if you don't know one of your neighbors bake or buy up a box of cookies and deliver them.  A simple hello and a little reaching out can go a long way, I believe we all want connection, whether or not we show it in our demeanor. Maybe we've just been taught this way but that doesn't mean we can't start to make a change.

Jessica McClure