|The Highland Herald|
| November 2006
The Highland Herald seeks to reach all residents through a regularly update forum of website and email communications. Through this forum, we as residents of Highland Park subdivision will be empowered to bring together ideas, resources and neighbors with the intent of building a stronger, safer and more desirable community in which to live.
|It's Been a Slow Painful Death The 'Hood Newsletter Founder|
|She was a beautiful baby. My baby. At first it was difficult getting used to my new responsibilities and what I needed to do to help her grow. Overtime I found my way to be a good parent and she grew from a floundering infant to a entity of her own.
But she was born into a bad situation. She was born with a chronic and devastating disease. Try as I might, I could not save her. Even when her care became too much for me to handle and I shifted her care to those who should have been better able to care for her, her health declined dramatically. She just turned 2 years old. I invested much into growing her. I invested much of myself into her care but I could not keep her alive.
Yes, it was a slow and painful death. Death by apathy always is. Now matter how much I wanted her to live, the lack of involvement from the community is what killed my baby. She was concieved to carry out a mission. "...to reach all residents through a regularly updated forum of website and email communications. Through this forum, we as residents of Highland Park subdivision will be empowered to bring together ideas, resources and neighbors with the intent of building a stronger, safer and more desirable community in which to live. " The mission that was her duty to carry out was thwarted at every turn. My baby, was this newsletter. My dream was the sense of community I sought to build through her birth. So it is with a heavy heart that I must let my baby die with this, the farewell issue.
Why should I stop writing if this is so important to me? Because after 2 years of writing I have come to the conclusion that the only person I was writing for was myself. Few took the survey, few responded to the Babysitting Club, few got involved with the holiday events that were planned, few read the newsletter, fewer communicated with either of the newsletters and no one came forward to take the newsletter over when the Highland Park Board of Directors asked for assistance.
I was not successful in my goals to bring this community together. There are few more people involved in the community than there was before. The HOA is just as ineffective today as it was before . I have to believe that two totally different Boards with vastly different approaches can only have the same effect if the community they are working for is void of any sense of obligation and the only commonality they share is their terminal sense of separateness. So without a sweeping surge of reflection on the part of all Highland Park Residents the story will be the same. New faces - same old story. I thought that I could overcome some of this with the anonymous forum I put in the newsletter. I expected that residents could find
| a sense of brotherhood with others that they might otherwise not have the opportunity to communicate with, but this forum was rarely used. The newsletter was a failed experiment.
This sense of community which I wanted so deeply to build, this lack of involvement by most of this subdivision, this disrespect for neighbors, the disregard for the covenents, the unwillingness by most residents to get involved and take what others selflessly gave, this apathy that permeates this subdivision's culture is what drove me out of this community and away from my baby. I have moved to a location miles away from Highland Park - in both geography and culture. The experience of living in this subdivision has driven me away from this false type of community where everyone pines for the tight knit community but refuses to work toward that goal. . I now have neighbors that depend on others for support, community and friendship. I keep thinking that I should have moved here years ago. Perhaps I could have avoided this level of distrust of people that I gained from my Highland Park experience. Live and learn. I can only hope that I'm better for it. Today, I will move forward and tie up loose ends.
So it is with a heavy heart that I put my baby to rest. For it is obvious that I, her parent, was the only one that truly cared about her survival. I know that there are a few of you out there who enjoyed her and will miss her. Please remember her and what she brought to your life.
Remember if she helped you at all, by allowing you to speak your mind, remember any insight she gave you. Remember when she made a difference in your community and perhaps someday you will see the value her life. Perhaps someday you will decide it is time to ressurrect her. Even if this should never come to pass, think about what killed her and if the terminal disease of apathy will further matastize throughout all aspects of this community. If this shall happen then I believe that everyone will regret that they didn't take a little bit of time to breathe a little bit of life back into spirit of Highland Park.
I wish you all the best for the coming years and hope that you all will, in some way, contribute to your community and the new Board of Directors to keep it a nice place to live. If you all look around you, you will see the neighborhood declining, You have the power to save it from ruin - but you have to give of yourself. You have to care - about who you live next to, your property values and your own future.
Wake up, Highland Park! For it is now that the bell tolls!