I planted a garden in the flowerbed, of the building where I reside and since then, It's been a very real battle to keep it from being destroyed. The flowerbed garden, is on the second floor of my building behind a railing so folks don't fall and go SPLAT!
I planted it to make the building look nice. The building had gone through some turmoil with people selling and moving out, building management had left us for dead by not taking an active interest in the building. So the building after some months and years began to look like shit! And the flowerbeds told the story. The flowers had died, and when I got there, it was just dirt, dead branches, trash, cigarette butts, weeds, and cat poop.
I complained to the association and although they were sympathetic, they were practically powerless and even moreso under assault from a few thugish types that used intimidation and keyed cars and other things when they were angry.
Obviously, It worked, nothing got done. The management company stopped coming out and then they abandoned us. But worse, folks in the building stopped getting involved and it got worse.
So my dumb ass decided to do something about it! I would plant the garden myself!
So, I planted aloe Vera, cactus, spider plants and a few other things. I placed Asian vases with large stems of bamboo at both ends and I grabbed a little doll chair as an ornament and the flowerbed was looking good. It only cost about fifteen dollars and about two hours or sweat. I paid for it out of my own pocket when the building managers didn't or couldn't do it! It was worth it!
I highly recommend gardening to balance and soothe the soul. It makes me feel good. There are folks that don't care and they pour cleaning agents out into the bed, leave broken glass, cigar butts, trash and everything else you can find in any urban garden. Dig, I understand, that goes with the territory.
But tonight, when the garden was damaged, I got angry! I spoke to my wife and my aunt who is visiting. They said just to let it go. " I told you not to decorate it, they would just tear it up!" And there are others who looked at garden and thinking that they're giving good advice, said to me, "Well, you know folks will tear it up! Maybe you shouldn't decorate it!"
Who is this, "They"?
The folks in the building of course! I've painted and scrubbed graffiti from inside the building, tagged by folks in the building. I picked up trash, swept glass, etc.
I noticed that they never actually looked at the garden. They never took the time to enjoy it. To smell it and pray and meditate by it. They never really allowed themselves to admit that it was nice. They've been jaded so long that all they could see is that someone would destroy it and take it away. This is truly, the ghetto mindstate. You won't even let yourself enjoy life a little. My God!
Why? Do i continue to fight? Because, I live there! I don't want to live in a filthy place period!Rent or own! Apathy, is the thing that kills Black progress, more than drugs, alcohol and guns.
Apathy, fuels the attitude of the bottom feeding ghetto mutha-f----! Ya know what I saying. The I don't care, what them Knucka's do, as long as it don't affect me, people! It's a selfish, race defeating attitude, that incubates and spreads to everyone and everything.
You gotta fight this attitude and the people that are infected with it including You! Or else, it won't be long before all the nice things, you saved for, built up or planted are dead! This includes your other, seeds. Your kids!
Can't go to the parks! Can't party nowhere without fear of something happening? Can't go to a decent hospital, grocery store, or sit on the porch and have a drink with a neighbor cause of fear.
You must get involved and combat it. Organize, and plant, clean and create. If your neighborhood does not have an upkeep or beautification program, then as God fearing, spiritually inspired folks, ya gotta start one! And like locusts, termites, ants, rats or other vermin, ya gotta fight BFGMF'S and never let up.
Check for this, if you ask, someone in your building, to help with a beautification project and you hear, Naw, I ain't doing s---t for this place!" This is an infected person and they're contagious! They're jaded, selfish, bitter, hurt or possiblly lazy, triflin, and directly influenced by evil but most of all, contagious!
It does not matter how a person got infected, we have got to be the vaccine, and teach care and prevention or you know what you get when you tolerate BFGMF'S? You get, ya guess it, a ghetto! An outwardly hellish place to live and a place where bitterness, anger, sadness, cruelty, sloth and apathy and hopelessness rule the day!
Nah, I'd rather fight! I don't like it but ya gotta do it. Organize, and report it to the landlords, the building management and the city as a group. Make sure that gardening and maintenance is not allowed to slack or if it has make sure that gets changed. Landlords, can be guilty of this too!
This, will take time, but first, you must change your mindset by not tolerating it period. It means, that you sweep the front, even though it ain't your job! It means, you may have to get a few kids, to pick up trash around the building or help you. Five or ten dollars is a small price to pay for a clean and attractive place to live. I love my people and where I live and I wanna see it thrive!
Only, you can fight Ghetto disease! Change, starts with you, then us!
Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!