Making the streets less mean

By Jeff Smith
Special to The PREVIEW
We can make our streets less mean.
King Herod the Great was the king in the Bible’s Christmas story. When the Wise Men told him of the birth of Messiah, Herod ordered the killing of all male infants age 2 and younger in that area to protect his throne. Great guy. At the end of his life he was so hated, he had hundreds of innocent people put in prison with orders to be killed on the day he died, just so there would be mourning. It was nice the order was never carried out.
This is my wisdom scripture this morning:
“When things go well for the upright man, all the town is glad; at the death of sinners, there are cries of joy.” — Proverbs 11:10.
It is not a good idea for any of us to learn life’s hard lessons from evil people. Towns should rejoice when good people prosper. It is either that or shout for joy at the death of tyrants. One modern lesson from Herod is to be sure we have some say in who rules us.
In any town, there are those who work, raise their kids and if they make a mistake, they don’t make it a problem for the rest of us. A smart town should make sure things go well for them. Our streets will be “glad” we did.
But if we don’t, one of the lessons of urban gangrene — with the drugs, violence and murder that make people afraid to leave their homes — should be that, somewhere in all this mess, we have done something wrong. This is not deep. It took bright, learned people spending lots of our money to get us here and Bible wisdom is not against learning. I read somewhere that “the answer to poverty is not money, but work.” Think where we would be now if we had started out with that basic idea.
Some want to tell me that our crime-ridden streets in those poor parts of town are the result of a free, open and diverse culture. It can’t be helped. That’s scary. Common sense tells me that knowing right from wrong is often the first step to getting some things right.
If things go wrong, I say we return to step one.

This story was posted on July 5, 2018.