By Taylor Lindsey
HOOD noun (n.) slang. Short for word "neighborhood.' often used honestly by those whom inhabit impoverished areas.
Philanthropist noun (n.) a person that promotes the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
Yeaaaah I'm broke, sometimes. But I love my people
Day after day week after week I look at my paycheck and know it's not ALL mine. I'm not talking taxes and I'm not talking bills. I'm talking about the money I mentally promise my friends; my family. A vow if you will.
Day after day, year after year, I make the commute north west for work; far from the place I call "home." The affluence of the city I work in often baffles me. Yes, these people look well off and seem acquainted, but are they really friends? Do they love thy neighbor? Why are they so competitive with one another? And is their "wealth" hold intention to be shared?
This is not community my friends. This is fending for you, and yourself alone.
As a 20 year resident of South Los Angeles, formally South Central, there are vast differences between the city I work in and the community where I dwell. Aside from my parents, I'm practically a stranger to my neighbors. What makes up my community is small, but consistent, contributions to this overly populated city that has little to no love for its natives. The longer I live here the more I want to help. This impoverished area has taken nothing from me. I remember & recognize those that were here before me. Alone I grow a small garden and a recycle often by taking up trash I see blowing through the streets. I visit my local library and advertise local markets & events from around the area on my social media. I do not give more than I have. My time & trust are the most valuable assets I can offer.
Earlier, I mentioned my money not being 100% mine. for me, earliest fabrics for community has come in the form of facilitation, conversation, and mi-nute monetary contributions. Making those action a regular habit formed foundations of support. Many of my friends have small ideas, charities, are artist and own businesses. Some of my money goes to their campaigns and some of it goes directly to their pockets. Growing a business, establishing honest connections, trusting each-other, dismantling the notion that's there's a "secret to success" are just the beginning. AND ARE FREE FOR THE TAKING.
Giving without expectation has been one the most rewarding way to connect with others. I found that most friends, coworkers or neighbors may have ambitions outside of their 9 to 5 job. You don't necessarily have to organic garden nor buy up every house on the block to build upon community. Avidly asking those around you and sharing your visions can kick-start a dream. Take one thing from this article, practice it, master it. Connect. Create. Watch you and others grow. There is room for all of us. And we have an abundance to offer.
By Taylor Lindsey