Stages and Civil Servants

What is a community?  Simply, it is a group of people living in the same area all trying to get along while surviving and meeting individual needs.  

Now, I want to be clear from the getco that I am not a supporter of violence.  I do not see anything connected to it that is positive which includes war over diplomacy, fighting over arguing and MMA over Ultra Running.  Violence begets violence. It’s as plain as that. In the end it always does more harm than good.

I have also been fortunate to live all but a few years of my life in peaceful communities.  Ones in which there is a semblance of order and fights in the streets do not occur daily. When I have lived in communities like this, I have savored the moments away even from the cacophonous sounds of the street.

Which leads me to the Who of the Street.  Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage and all men and women are merely players.  He understood intuitively that the theater itself was a microcosm of the greater community and world.  It consists of all different professions and personalities and they all figure out how to get along well enough to pull the curtain on opening night.  

This clip from Shakespeare in Love sums it up nicely.

Which leads me to the problem with modern day communities.  Now, if you have money, you are easily distracted from this problem.  So much so that you don’t recognize it’s existence because you have other things to do.  Take the kids to soccer. Ride a fancy bike or go for a run. Train for a triathlon. Shop for unnecessary items.  Complaining about those purchases. Drink $5 coffee drinks and $20 cocktails.

I am not against people with money.  I am one comparatively speaking. I am sitting in a Starbucks writing.  I live a first world life and I have lived in view of the third world but I have never been part of it.  I am grateful for that. I just wish things could be fairer.

One huge change that created a gross disparity is how communities have developed.  If it’s a good community, everyone and their mother wants to live there. If it’s a poor one, no one wants to live there even the poor.  It’s just unlucky happenchance.

To make matters worse the majority of the money of the community leaves the community.  A community generates revenue through taxes that in turn pay for civil servants like the police, fire persons and teachers.  These are needed service jobs of any community and cost the community a fair amount of its economic resources.  

So the question becomes Should a civil servant live inside the community that they serve?   I think that there is a strong argument that they should. That there should be initiatives and laws passed to help those from a community become qualified in these professions so that they can replace those who live outside of it.

This is especially important for the Police.  Back in the day of my parents and grandparents, the police lived in the communities that they served.  They were part of the backbone of the community. They knew who the players were and were able to strike, most of the time, balance on the street.  Today, this is not true.

The modern day problem of the police being targeted in poor neighborhoods is caused by two things.  One, they don’t live in the neighborhoods they work. Therefore, they are not invested in it. Worse yet, they spend their time dealing only with the bad.  They know the community and its members based on negatives rather than the positives. This leads to missed teachable moments and exceptions. It also leads to the erosion of the trust between the police and the community that is paying them to serve and protect them.  This needs to change.

Furthermore, another issue that arises with the modern day police within the community is who become police officers.  Remember this is a civil servant job. It used to be a job of family tradition and people giving back to the community.  Today, more and more police officers are not in the profession to be civil servants. They are in the profession because it allows them to be violent.  Again, violence begets violence.

This is a job in which it is a requirement that you have a willingness to kill another human being whether being attacked or not is irrelevant.  It is still a prerequisite for the job, willingness to be violent.  

So what has happened is we have allowed war zones to be created.  The police have a detached relationship with the community that they are supposed to serve and the community don’t feel as though they are being protected.  

This is a problem that could be easily solved.  Create programs that support civil servants living within a community, curb school choice, a side effect of gentrification, and educate and set up systems to help those in the community become qualified to serve it. 


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