Why Don’t We Do Better? 4


Why don’t we do better, when it’s clear that we could?

I’ve been trying to push this post out for a while with little success.  Been thinking about it too much.  Been waiting for the perfect descriptive words to come and compel themselves onto the pages of a journal  I always keep nearby at the ready when inspiration strikes  or a window of captive time make me write, instead of surfing social media.

Trash at bus stop accumulated over many months

Finally, the universe compels me.  Aaron of Write on the Dot asks, after our meeting, do you want to write?  For 15 minutes or so.? There is no excuse.  Coco Leaf  is between a rush of customers and is quiet enough and  has more than ample table-space to write.  I have the time.  I make the time… for…for this:  why don’t we do better?  We, meaning humans.  Why don’t we treat ourselves and each other better?

Why is it acceptable to leave mounds of snow blocking curb-cuts and drive-ways thereby creating dangerous and/or impassable access for walkers, strollers, the old, the young?  Except at the universities and corporate headquarters throughout town where the sidewalks are plowed in broad swaths and curb-egress is guaranteed  (as long as it’s their property  heaven forbid they be neighborly and plow an adjacent walk).Why wouldn’t a city plan neighborhood brigades, give plow truck drivers clear instructions on clearing the roads (and sidewalks) responsibly?

Why would “Schools lack nurses, libraries under ‘weighted student funding’ scheme as Yawu Miller’s article in the Bay State Banner informs?  We already know what good schools should have.  Why isn’t this right for every child and not determined by zip code, parental wealth or chutzpah, test scores on an exam?

Terrible ceiling in subway.

Why don’t’ we care enough to maintain the subway stations beyond routine cleanings (would “cursory” too judgmental a description?).  How can we have leaks, fallen plaster, puddles, and blocked, chipping steps that have been in this condition for years?  Why can’t we open new stations, which the population needs, and which our environment needs?  Where is the will and political leadership?

How can it be that there were 11 shootings in high schools in the USA in the first 23 days of the first of the year?  How is that acceptable?  Why, after we wipe our tears, aren’t we walking the streets, demanding safety for our children?  Yes, I said OUR children, they are all our children, no matter where they live/dwell – they belong to us all…to our future.

How can we be okay with not saying hello or acknowledging each other when we pass?

How can we know each other for years and never have visited each other’s homes?  How can we work together and never find time to have coffee or lunch?

Why doesn’t the phone ring and why don’t I make a call?  What has happened that a TV program or time on the internet has a regular appointment in your life, but a letter, a call, face-to-face meeting doesn’t?

Why don’t we love ourselves enough to have cities full of public displays of affection, happiness and fun?

Why don’t we mimic the explosion of color, movement, and variety in nature?  Why do we accept so little as a matter of course.

If I ruled the world…well…I can only live the way I believe is best as much as I can.

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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.


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4 thoughts on “Why Don’t We Do Better?

  • Helen Credle

    Each one of US as individuals must agree with ourselves that we will “ALWAYS DO OUR BEST”…Our best is going to change from moment to moment.
    It will be different when we are healthy as opposed to sick.
    Under any circumstance, like the one’s you’ve so eloquently reflected in your piece, we simply do our best, not only specific attention to the conditions you’ve exposed but it will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret in US all. Loving YOU is our blessing…Helen Credle

  • LANA JACKSON

    Because we all live surface to surface, having only the energy to put one foot in front of the other; the energy and instinct to deliver on the basics to survive another day. Yes, we can be aware of so many problems where we live, work, and play–but realistically most of us end up saying to ourselves, “What can I do for this situation? And if I do this…, who’s going to take care of me and my responsibilities?” There seems to be very little leeway these days as we live less as a community with similar ideals about the way we live; what is acceptable and what is not. We live as individuals with full plates, who notice our problems in our communities and generally blame “City Hall” knowing it’s not a government problem, but a community problem! How do we balance our needs with our community needs?

    • Candelaria Silva Post author

      It is daunting but I think there are small ways in which we can expect more. I can sweep my front stoop and take time to do my next door neighbors. I can stop and make a call and not resort to mere electronic communication. Little small things help. I can and do sign petitions and write letters when I am able to. I have made time for advocacy and for contributing my small dollars to causes I believe in especially helping people achieve grassroots goals. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.