What is around the corner?

It seems like a simple question. What is around the corner? All one needs to do is look and see. But obviously the question is rhetorical and sometimes plain scary? However, it is probably a very common question these days. English writer and poet G. K. Chesterton once said, “There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.” As a child I would love to play hide and seek. I’d always hide in a corner so that I would not be seen and could ultimately surprise whomever had been called”it”. As they turned the corner I would jump out and tag them and most of the time scare the heck out the person. Today it is I who is scared to turn the corner. J.R.R. Tolkien  once wrote,”“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate and though I oft have passed them by a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

As I grow older and some say wiser (I hope  that’s the case); I have learned to take the paths that help me become a better human being. I am wary of where the road may lead me so I try very hard to forge new paths for myself and others. The surprise element is not as attractive as it use to be. This does not mean that I will not take risks every so often. Life is about taking chances and meeting challenges face to face. But one never knows what’s around the corner. As an optimistic I try to keep positive and look forward to wonderful things. I visualize what I want to be around the corner and usually find what I looked forward to finding.

The reality is that this is not the case for a lot of people. The violence and uncertainty that some folks have to live with on a daily basis makes it difficult to be optimistic about what can be found just around the corner. Some missing children barely turned the corner from their homes when they were kidnapped or attacked. Other innocent young children cannot turn any corner on any street in their neighborhoods without finding themselves at risk of being killed in the crossfire of drug dealers. Some families reach the corner and find themselves at a dead-end about finding jobs or getting the proper housing or health care they need. Therefore, many folks are not too enthusiastic about what they might find just around the corner.

I propose we work collectively to improve the odds of what children might find just around the corner. We must protect our children because not only are they our future but they are our present as well. Our children fill our lives now.  I often put myself in the shoes of parents who have lost their children or babies to violence. The thought that some children are abducted or killed within walking distance of their homes and sometimes even in the presence and company of their parents is torturous. But we must be more vigilant and watch our corners carefully. We must make sure they are safe. We cannot conform to the violence. We must act and act now. These past few days I have heard of several killings that simply do not make sense.

We must look forward to what’s just around the corner for all of us. Some of us live on safe corners and we cannot wait there while others are not safe. Albert Camus once said, ” At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike anyone in the face.” Thus, we have the obligation to work collectively to take back our street corners in all neighborhoods and make them safe for our children. We must not allow thugs and violence to corner us. All children need all of us in their corner. We cannot paint ourselves into corners and let fear take over. Neighborhoods must organize in coordination with schools, churches, libraries and any other safe havens that might be out there for children and young people.

We must believe that great things will be found just around the corner. Al Sharpton says,  “I’ve seen enough things to know that if you just keep on going, if you turn the corner, the sun will be shining.” I believe this to be true. We must turn the corners together. No corner of our being should abandon the idea that we can carry out anything when we unite for a just cause. This is the American way. Our country is the corner of the world where people from all around the globe want to be.  Let us take a stand and turn the corner together. Let us once again as a nation corner the market on humanity and selfless giving of ourselves.

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