Over my years as an adult, I have been invited to numerous rallies and marches, usually in reaction to something that has happened or a string of events. Initially, I went to them all. In recent years,  I've stopped. Here's why.

It would seem as if I don't care about the issues being addressed, but the fact of the matter is I do, as do those who orchestrate and attend these events. But if I can be honest for a moment, I think they're a waste of time.

Why? It's always the same people: the chief of police, civic leaders, and those who want to SEE a difference. Those who want to SEE a difference and those who want to MAKE a difference are two totally different things. One recognizes a problem and seeks a solution. The other recognizes a problem but is willing to BE the solution. I'm not saying that those who want to SEE a difference can't be the ones to make a difference. They just rarely are.

I can remember meeting embattled youth and taking them in as my little brothers and sisters.  We'd do fun outings, I'd make sure they were fed, and I'd take them back home to their crime-infested neighborhoods. I wasn't afraid of being robbed or anything like that because I didn't present myself in a flashy way. In addition, I rarely carried cash. So, if my bank card was stolen, the most they could get was gas and a burger.

A sad reality is that those in need are never in attendance at the marches and rallies. The "concerned" citizens aren't the ones committing he crimes. They aren't the ones who need to be shown a better quality of life. They're not the ones who need to know somebody cares. Simply put, those who hold these events should be tired of looking into the same faces each time around, only to be seen again the next time there's a wave of violent crimes.

Frankly, I don't care that much about anybody to show my face just to say I was there. I can think of 10,000 other things to do with my time. Now, when there is a series of events that lead to the development of a course of ACTION, I'm all in. But to sit and look in the same faces of people who have no plan but to state that there's a problem..... I'm not really up for it.

There is currently a "stop the violence" initiative in Tuscaloosa, which outlines a number of different events aimed at restoring brotherhood in the community and strengthening families. This is one of the best restructuring plans to have emerged, as it indicates a course of action, something different from what has been done before.

Now, it's time to go to the areas where the guidance is needed, not talk about it. It's time to MAKE the difference. When it comes to the work, count me in.  But unless the conversations are held with those who need it, hit me up when you're finished talking and are ready to work.