When I was growing up, my mother used to share a famous slogan with me. As a young teen and a young adult, I became mischievous in my thoughts and actions, even though GOD was the center of my life. She would say to me, “Don’t get caught at the wrong place, at the wrong time.” But now, as a mature, Black woman living in Philadelphia,, no longer a young teen or young adult thinking about mischievous ways on how to get something done, I wonder — does that slogan still apply?
To date so far, we have 435 killings in Philadelphia. By the time you read this article, unfortunately that number may have increased. Are our youths in the wrong places at the wrong times? Are our youths pinpointed and subjected to becoming a part of things that they shouldn’t during this pandemic? We are living in an era of uneducated individuals who in vast numbers are unable to read and write. and may be unable to perform simple tasks. In addition, uneducated or not, many still may not understand how to interact with individuals who do not know the difference between right and wrong,
So that slogan —being at the wrong place at the wrong time — how does it set with you? Do you feel that slogan is relevant or are we now just victims of an ongoing cycle of random, vicious crime, murder, and attempts to do wrong to others where there was once a tradition of doing good and showing kindness to others?
There is so much going on today in the lives of many individuals. As we travel the streets of Philadelphia, we now must be even more aware of who we decide to be in the company of and who we decide to allow in our lives. It is not that this is a new phenomenon — how to live a decent life — but we must become actively engaged so that we may be able to not only save our lives, but to support the lives of our loved ones and neighbors as well. It is time to make changes in how we live our ordinary everyday lives. We no longer want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time! Take care, until next time….PEACE!
cj is a poet, educator, motivational speaker, and inspirational writer who reside in Philadelphia. if you were moved by this piece, shoot her a “like” or comment at: [email protected]