In the aftermath of seeing a shooting in the Bronx, I still can't quite get it out of my mind.
To recap, David and I left a party on Saturday night and witnessed a point blank shooting just across the street from us in the Bronx. We ran away as fast as we could and drove home.
First, I keep checking online to see if I can find out more about whether or not the kid who was shot made it or not. I can't find anything on the news. There were 14 other shootings around the city Saturday night and early Sunday morning, but no mention of this one. It bothers me that I can't find out.
Second, I keep thinking that I was a coward for running away. I am feeling ashamed that I didn't stay to help, to stop the bleeding, to wait for an ambulance to arrive, to reach out. Instead, I ran. I was scared. I wanted to get David, his friends, and me as far away from there as fast as possible. I don't know if I could have helped, but do know that I can usually remain calm in a panicked situation. Would you have stayed to help? To pray with or for the person? To stop the bleeding and see what you could do? We were scared that a gunfight was going to break out. By the time we left, there were dozens of people standing around the body of the young man who was shot.
Third, I wonder if I need to get out of Brooklyn sooner than my initial five year plan. I wanted to stay here five years to build the organization I am in. I wanted to stay long enough to know I succeeded. Now, I just want to get out of New York City all together. This place is crazier, more dangerous, congested, louder, smellier, more unfriendly, expensive, and more difficult than any place I've ever lived. I used to say that NYC was fun to visit, but I never wanted to live here. That is still true for me. There are amazing things here, but I think I'd much rather live in a smaller city and just visit. I haven't given up yet. I just miss the niceties of smaller cities. There is a reason for me to be here for now. I have faith that I will be moved to something different when the time is right.
This, like so much of New York City, is a daily dilemma. You are surrounded by hatred, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, violence, and crowds of people that all need help. The amount of help needed is overwhelming. I remember when I resented how much money New York City got from the state when so many upstate cities needed help. Now I wonder where all of that money is going. How do you decide who to help and how? Or do you decide to ignore it all and just donate to charities that are helping? Do you do neither and just try to live your life without getting hurt? Do you do it all and just keep giving until you have no more to give?
I'm feeling overwhelmed by all of it today. There has to be an answer somewhere that is working for people.