This is a rant about a CRUMB of decency. I was reading Danny’s post over at dreambigdreamoften.co and it took me back to when my children were in elementary school. Our street was full of small children who walked two blocks to school. There was a house a few doors up who had three large dogs. They were allowed to run free unless their owners knew the dogcatching truck was coming. For some reason, they knew when the authorities were coming and suddenly packed their dogs in a vehicle and left. The neighbors surmised it had something to do with a police car that was seen frequenting the premises at lunchtime. For an hour or so the police car would disappear into the garage of this house.
Joggers were popular then and not immune to bites by the three dogs who loved to chase and threaten children, bikes, and full grown men. I kept a broom by my front door to ward off the dogs till children were safely on their way to school. Looking back now I suppose it was rather strange to see a woman warding off dogs in the street, but hey, I was a protective mother.
As in most times of my life when I stood up for what I thought was right, I was alone. I called the dog catcher only to see the offending dogs loaded up and disappear. Crossing the street one day with my kids in tow, the offending neighbor was sitting on their step. I was surprised at a warning threat she called out to me about how my kids should be careful when out of their house. I was livid to think my children were threatened.
I decided to lodge a formal complaint and I ended up going to court, and lost. Being the only person who was willing to stand up and complain, it was thrown out. Of course I thought the whole thing was rigged because of the police visiting the neighbor I was complaining about. The worst part of it was learning that no matter how much people complain in private, they rarely put themselves out in public to change anything. I guess it’s just human nature? To me it was a great disappointment.
This was before cell phones, easily taken video, etc. I felt defeated and cheated and learned a hard lesson. You have to rely on yourself. If you want to voice an outrage, be strong enough to do it by yourself, and do it.