09/03/13 — One for all: Little Washington's story reveals some truths

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One for all: Little Washington's story reveals some truths

What's wrong with the world today?

Everybody has a theory.

But it is not often that you see the perfect contrast between what happened in the good, old days and how society functions today.

Cue the Little Washington reunion.

The neighborhood gathering is a legacy -- a dream of some of the friends and families from the old block who want to make sure they don't lose contact and that they remember all the old stories.

And they are determined to keep the tradition going -- as a tribute to their moms and dads and neighbors and friends.

What makes this block so special is that it functioned like a family. If you were up to no good as a child, you had better watch out -- there were plenty of moms and dads around to put you right back in line.

Neighbors knew neighbors, and they looked out for each year. It was the extended family that is sometimes needed in a busy world where jobs and family stresses can take their toll.

The neighbors of Little Washington do not claim to be perfect -- they know their community had problems just like any other.

But they are certain that being in each other's lives helped -- not only in managing the day to day, but in helping to keep their children on the right path as well.

Perhaps there is a lesson there.

Too many people today replace human contact with electronic devices.

They don't know their neighbors, and they recoil at the idea of an extra set of eyes on their children or getting involved in another family's business.

They live a solitary existence structured around those who are related to them or a small group of friends.

They claim they do not have time to be involved, to get to know those who live nearby.

Imagine if we could inject a little of Little Washington into a few neighborhoods today.

How would our lives be different?

How would our children be different?

Would we be talking so much about crime and low test scores or would there be a united front dedicated to making a change?

Would there be less strife among people and would more of us see what we have in common rather than what divides us?

And would we see the realities that many families face -- and be more equipped to be there for each other?

It is a Pollyanna type of solution, but it is intriguing. Perhaps the old-fashioned way might just be what the modern world's problems need.

There's no question -- Little Washington's residents think so. And they might be right.

Published in Editorials on September 3, 2013 10:40 AM