Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rant #959: Know Thy Neighbor

It seemed that the nation became collectively stunned as the news of the Cleveland kidnapping case came to light yesterday.

Three young women, one who had been missing for 10 years, were found to have been kidnapped by three brothers in a Cleveland neighborhood.

One of the women actually had a child that one of her captors fathered.

And absolutely no one knew about what was going on in this house of horrors.

The three Castro brothers were that good in keeping the three women in hiding, shackling them and brutalizing them to the extent that they would not, or could not, leave.

The police had checked out the premises before, but they never went into the house.

You would think that the screams of the women would have alerted somebody that they were in there, but after a time, the screams probably turned to whimpers and then to absolutely nothing.

But you would still think that somebody would have noticed something, and that the Castro brothers would have made a slip that would alert someone that something was wrong.

Neighbors said they did not suspect anything. I heard one neighbor say that he had had barbecues where the brothers were in attendance, and he never suspected a thing.

Other neighbors said that they considered the brothers friends and acquaintances, and they were as shocked as anyone about what was uncovered about the evil deeds of these brothers.

In today's world, where we are truly mesmerized by personal devices, and social activity is not what it once was, you can say that what happened in Cleveland is a reflection on the society in which we live.

Everybody is pretty much into themselves, and they rarely move out of their own personal cocoons to view the world.

I guess you can say that, but, of course, this is an extreme case.

But people do appear to be anti-social these days, or at least not as social as they used to be.

Do anyone of us really know our neighbors and people who live in our own communities?

I know in the community I live in, we don't really know our neighbors, and this is a symptom of the problems neighborhoods face today.

When I lived in Queens, it seemed everybody knew everybody. We lived in apartment buildings, and maybe it was because of that close proximity, but our neighborhood was almost like an urban Mayberry.

When my family and I moved out to Long Island in 1971, I immediately noticed a big difference.

People lived in private houses here, and people weren't as much into the social aspect of their neighborhood as they were when we lived in the old neighborhood.

That has carried over to today, and I think modern technology and the Internet has a lot to do with that, and has made communities looser.

With all the devices we have today--and all the outlets provided by those devices--you really don't have to physically communicate with anyone anymore. You can do it through the device.

People simply aren't as social today as they were 40 or more years ago, and that hurts neighborhoods.

Sometimes, it is good for everyone to know everyone's business.

In this extreme case in Cleveland that is unfolding, it certainly would have been prudent if the people living next door, near and around this house of horrors would have known their seemingly nice neighbors a little bit better.

It certainly would have been better for these women.

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