Tuesday, July 3, 2012
This is NOT an answer.......
Indulge me for a few minutes, won't you? I'm incensed. Again.
A few weeks ago, while dropping off reading material at the library, I noticed a large painted structure of a person in walking motion directly at the entrance to the building. "What in the world?", I thought. As we drove off, I saw another one placed on some corner. I didn't pay it much attention until I began to see more and more of these while going through my daily business throughout town.
Our local newpaper recently devoted a two page spread about "The Walking Man" and someone's brilliant concept of a "Walking Man Tour". Seriously!? I scanned the lengthy article which included several peoples' reactions after having taken part in this activity. Apparently individuals are given a "passport" which is stamped when one stops at each location where one of these ridiculous statues "lives".
Call me clueless, but I still don't quite grasp WHY anyone would care to have actual proof that they took this tour through the lovely city of Anderson, Indiana. I mean, in my perspective, this, like many other small towns across the United States has suffered terribly through the current economic recession. If you don't live here, I think it highly unlikely that this would be anyone's destination spot. If you're visiting relatives or friends, there are more interesting things to do with one's free time than zipping around viewing these statues.
Anderson has a NICE library, don't get me wrong. I'm certain most of the places that the "Walking Man" is highlighting are worth checking out, but I see these statues as a GREAT waste of money. At first I assumed the city had paid some artist to design/construct these, but the newspaper stated that these were *sponsored* by groups or individuals. Frankly, I don't care WHO is putting the money into these ~ this city, again like so many others, could put those dollars to better use.
I shudder to think how much just ONE of the statues costs to build and paint. I also shudder when I drive in any direction and see homes with boarded up windows and grass approaching 2 feet tall. The one mall we have is struggling to stay open, having recently lost Sears as one of their major anchor stores. Many, many other businesses have closed up and what is typically left behind are run down buildings and slabs of concrete parking lots.
In order for this or any other struggling city to prosper again we need to clean up what we already have! I wonder how many weed-filled vacant residential lots could have been mowed with that money. How many empty factories or other commercial buildings could have been demolished with those funds? It breaks my heart to know how far churches and shelters who assist those in need could have stretched those dollars.
Beautifying what we have and lending a hand UP to those who are financially strapped would do more for prosperity than admiring a concrete structure. As long as the majority are content to turn a blind eye and only concern themselves with what is theirs, we can't expect to turn things around. I have heard some good ideas lately, especially from our younger generation, and I can only pray that more people get on the bandwagon.
Look up guerilla gardening sometime---I absolutely love the concept! Good old-fashioned bartering is being discussed and maybe could become our new currency and I also can't think of anything negative about moving in that direction. I think a good part of our downfall in this country is the fact that we are such a money motivated society. Perhaps it's time to take a walk and start thinking outside the box.....
Here's what's running through MY mind......next time you go for a walk at your local park, bring along a sack and fill it with the garbage you see along your path. If there is a vacant house down your street with an unmowed lawn, how about using YOUR lawnmower and YOUR gas one time a month to tend to it. I bet everyone on your street will appreciate it and who knows, maybe you'll start a trend and others will begin to do the same. These are just two super easy ways to help make our neighborhoods and cities more appealing and that can ONLY be a good thing. We have a "day of caring", but one day a year obviously can't make the impact we need to attract prospective new businesses to our cities. We must develop a mindset of caring EVERY day for we are all one.