To the editor:

 Friday’s KDH headline reads, “Residents speak out at police forum.”

I am fairly certain you could take this headline story and change the name to almost any community or even major city in our nation and the story would be germane.

Violent crime is trending upward. Police officer morale is on the decline. Fights are breaking out in our schools and in our shopping malls. Domestic violence is on the uptick. Drug crimes are running rampant in our communities. There has been a dramatic increase in murder in our towns and cities. Burglary and home invasion is almost commonplace today.

One resident bemoaned the fact that he could get Papa John’s Pizza to his house faster than he could get the police to respond. This is a sad commentary, even if it is just a perception.

Traffic accidents and fatalities caused by drivers distracted by texting have now overtaken deaths caused by driving while impaired.

I have cars sliding into my lane every day in good weather on dry roads in the middle of the day.

It used to be just the occasional drunk and usually at night. Texting drivers have made me seriously consider not riding a motorcycle, something I have enjoyed for years. The risk is substantially greater than a few years ago.

Add to this the problems of city budget mismanagement or incompetence that make everyone wonder when city services will collapse.

Just look at the poisoned drinking water problems in many places in America. This picture is pretty bleak and by the end of the news story I was discouraged that these problems may be insurmountable.

However, in a very small text box near the bottom of the article entitled Facebook comments, Tami Aldrich Davenport offered the best solution to our community and our nation’s problems.

She wrote, “It is about building relationships with everyone, from our families, neighbors, churches, schools, and law enforcement. Relationships are needed.”

There, the cat is out of the bag! Communication and trust, I believe, are the answers to many of our cultural woes. We do not seem to build the relationships of long ago.

When I was a child, my parents would encourage me to say or wave hello to neighbors passing by our house.

There are about 25 houses on my street today. I know four or five of the families. People drive by at 30 or 40 miles per hour and don’t know anything exists beyond their car’s window. Most don’t even wave.

Electronic devices have just about ruined conversation that used to be commonplace between young and older people.

I found a quote attributed to Albert Einstein. It reads, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I do not know if we have reached this point as yet. I hope not.

I do know that our Bible tells us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” We just need to focus on understanding and taking better care of each other.

Ms. Davenport is exactly correct. Relationship building is absolutely essential to our civil discourse and safety.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

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