“Far Away”

I’m often in deep thought about something. It’s just my nature. However, I didn’t expect to be in that state while simply having a burger at my favorite pizza place earlier this week.

No, my sudden pontification wasn’t about how good the burger was at a pizza shop!

While having my burger and the salad that went with it (forgoing the fries), I found myself witnessing an exchange that left me with a feeling I’ll never forget.

A man walked in with two little girls who I believed to be his daughters. He was ordering pizza for them while the TV mounted on the wall was showing a newscast (not a FOX29 broadcast) talking about a “shooting investigation” in Cobbs Creek. That’s a section of Southwest Philadelphia.

“Daddy where is that?” I heard one of the little girls say behind me. “Far away!” He replied.

True, he was technically right in a hyper local sense. It was at least a few miles away. That area would take you about 25 minutes to get to with traffic.

That statement must have come as a sense of relief for the girl. I’m sure that’s what her dad was going for.

So much seems far away when we are that age. If there was a danger even a mile away, a parent would likely want to tell their child it was “far away.”

It made me think about the dangers in our world; dangers that really hit close to home for us as adults.

As a young man with no children it often makes me want to throw my arms around the world to protect as many as I could.

For parents out there, these stories undoubtedly make them want to cast their arms around their children and make sure they are safe.

I thought about my own Mother and how she would get nervous hearing these types of things on the news in Detroit, even though we were raised outside of the city where it was safer (although crime happens everywhere).

That feeling must be so consistent or every parent out there. As a journalist it feels like I have covered millions of shootings, or other types of violent crime. I think about the fear my stories unintentionally may strike in the hearts of parents out there, worried about their children.

I think about the responsibility I have to make sure people know what’s happening in their communities, even if it is “far away.”

I can only hope that along with the fear that may come about from these events, I am able to give them a sense of how the police and community are working to protect the folks; especially the youngest and most vulnerable out there.

That man’s daughters would not only benefit from living in a safer world. It’s what we should strive for, and it’s what they are entitled to.

God Bless all of the parents out there, always throwing your arms around your children. We are all in this together.

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