What kind of community would you like your family to live in? Is Fairfield-Suisun becoming so undesirable that you are considering relocating?
Many folks have begun the mass exodus of Bay Area cities and even California completely. I understand why people choose to move out of the neighborhood when the environment becomes too violent, drug-infested, too expensive or just unlivable. I recently learned that there are some things in our society that we are going to have to deal with no matter where you go.
My mother left the turbulent, racist and troubled environment of the South in 1961. She left Shreveport, La., to raise her family in what she thought would be a more peaceful, liberal, West Coast environment of Southern California. Ironically, a few years later in 1965, Los Angeles erupted into one of the deadliest race riots in U.S. history. Did racism follow her or is it just a part of the world that we live in that crosses all state boundaries and lands?
The urban environment that I lived in as a youth was saturated with violence. As a youth, I would deal with any potential problem or conflicts one way only: I would run.
Running was my No. 1 defense. Inspired by fear, I would just take to the wind at the slightest hint of trouble. I was such a small and quick little guy, so it was rare that anyone would catch me once I took off. Eventually, the violence did catch me. When running was no longer working for me, I took to the martial arts to defend myself from bullies and street gangs. Once I become confident and well-trained in self-defense, a very sad and dangerous change of events took place in he 1980s: The handgun became the weapon of choice for most people, making Los Angeles one of the most violent cities in the nation.
Like many others, I left the ills of Southern California for a more relaxed environment of the Bay Area. Eventually, those same issues found their way north to San Francisco and Oakland. Even smaller communities such as San Mateo and East Palo Alto became notorious for drugs and violence. Unfortunately, we are learning that the problems of the Bay Area have expanded to nearby communities.
When I relocated to Fairfield-Suisun, I was very impressed and confident that this was a great place to land and raise my family. As the population here grew, more big-city issues came with it. Soon, three of my neighbors packed up and left, moving farther east.
If you can’t live in Solano County, then what? Now where are you going go? Dixon? Winters? Eureka? Enough is enough. Running away or relocating every time there’s trouble in a community is not the answer. However, if the environment reaches the point where it is out of control, then maybe it is time to separate yourself.
I believe Fairfield-Suisun is still a good place to live. It has a reasonable population size, a good location that is close enough to the Bay Area and Sacramento but not too close to get infected by the ills of the big city. I have always been an advocate of being a part of the solution by contributing something positive to the community where I live.
Nature teaches us that when an environment changes, what you should do is make adjustments to endure those changes – such as wearing a thick coat and hat in the winter. Consider this illustration. If you have a pot of boiling water, there are three items that will have three different effects when they are placed in the water for three minutes: An egg will become hard inside. A carrot will become weak and eventually break down. A coffee bean will do neither; it will not change its form but it will change the water. It will change the color, the aroma and the texture of the water.
Like that coffee bean, we can withstand the heat and have a positive effect in our environment. There are ways we can make a difference in the community in support of the local leadership.
Fairfield-Suisun is not quite Sodom and Gomorrah, but we do need to take steps to improve the quality of life here.
Deon D. Price is a youth life skills coach and writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at www.twitter.com/youthgeneration.