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Recognizing the Old, Nurturing the New

At a time when we need more cohesion and understanding between various communities and ethnic groups in our neighborhood, talks of more accusations got on our way.

Very recently, I came across an interesting theory explaining the reason for the attempted dissolution of our neighborhood association NCPCA. According to this theory, dissolution of NCPCA was related to the amendment vote that failed to pass in the last January NCPCA meeting.

As a secretary, I record not only who says what in our regular meetings, but also when statements are made, so let’s take a deeper look at the series of events happened.

The amendment vote was taken around 10pm that night, nearly 2 hours after the dissolution motion was raised. Before the dissolution motion at 8pm, there was no debate on the amendment motion, and no member said anything the way she or he would vote. How can we then conclude that the reason for the dissolution motion was the outcome of the amendment motion?

As an avid student of science, I know it’s tempting to introduce a theory, but in this case it would have been a lot easier, if the sequence of events would have happened just opposite – if the dissolution motion had come after the amendment motion – unfortunately, just the opposite had happened.

In explaining the unfortunate matters, I also find this saddening to see an effort to identify some of our neighbors as part of a “group” – whereas a neighbor should be considered as a neighbor, just that.

I wonder however how we identify the members be part of a group, if we do need to put the blames on. Could it be – by looking at their names, by the way they wear dresses, by their languages or by the way of their livings. I thought gone are the days when citizens in this country used to be judged by their “traits” they carry with. There is a term identifying citizens based on their color, religion, race or language – it’s called “profiling”. I hope none of us is taking that dark alley of our history again.

While it’s undesirable to profile our neighbors based on their race, religion and language they speak, solely for the purpose of putting the blames on, it may help to know more about them to find a positive solution.

Many of the members of this group, as the allegation hints, belong to newer and immigrant generation, while as I understand the members having the ‘left-out’ grievances belong to older ones.

I think our time and energy will be better spent if we stop profiling our fellow neighbors as part of a group or groups and as source of ‘problems’. Instead we should find ways how we can bring these two generations – new and old together.

In my earlier article in the Gazette, I tried to touch upon this issue of recognizing the old and nurturing the new members, however due to restriction of word counts, I could not go further, let me expound on this now.

Like many, I do recognize that the older / long time members of our community deserve respects. They are the ones who have started many community projects like our civic association. I wonder if we can recognize them with awards in public ceremonies for their hard work and contributions for our community at large. I know other civic associations have similar recognition programs.

We should also start projects like brief community history project, taking the stories from our older community members. This would connect the older generations with the newer ones by establishing the heritage of our neighborhood. Our neighboring city Berwyn Heights has just done that.

In a similar fashion, the newer generation of community members also needs to be nurtured. As a long time member of the association, I do recognize that my fellow long time members have a responsibility to invite and nurture the newer members. If we do recognize who are our new members why don’t we approach them and find their issues. I know many of them have difficulties in the ways our meetings are run, other have small children, whom they cannot bring with them to the meeting. Discussing these matters with them would probably enable them attending our meetings on a regular basis.

Pointing fingers to the old and the new generations will only widen the gulf between the two. Recognizing and respecting the needs of these two generations can bring them together.

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3 Comments to “Recognizing the Old, Nurturing the New”

  1. By Scooter Conrad, February 27, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    Thank you, Mr Kabir.
    It was sad for me to read about the proposal to dissolve NCPCA.
    However, I read no reason why? WHY?

    I guess I would be considered one of the “old” group, having lived in the community for 27 years (and now forcibly retired from the working world at the age of 65). I have NOT participated in the political group NCPCA.
    It would appear that my hesitation not to join, as come to fruition.
    Now there is even more reason to “think again” about becoming a member.

    But hey, I don’t have to – The group will dissolve in it’s own hot air, based on what I’ve read.

    Maybe MY perceived feelings as an outsider, looking in, are incorrect.
    Is the NCPCA dissolving?
    Maybe some of your members should leave. Why are they calling for a dissolve, if they aren’t happy? This doesn’t make sense.
    IF I were not satisfied with how a “club” was being run, I’d leave, period.

    I will invest my time in the local government. At least they won’t disappear when things get a little rough, when the “them & us” groups start infighting. There IS leadership.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, February 28, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Hi Scooter,

    Many thanks for your comments. I also much appreciate for being in our community for so long.

    >> It was sad for me to read about the proposal to dissolve NCPCA. However, I read no reason why? WHY?

    The only reason that was given for the dissolution was “no longer represent all residents of north College Park”.

    Frankly speaking, I don’t know the exact meaning of this, and I don’t want to speculate on this. I wish the member could explain what she meant.

  3. By Laura, March 1, 2010 @ 4:05 am

    It sounds like a case of sour grapes to me. It has the unfortunate side effect of making the NCPCA seem like an exclusive club.

    I only recently became aware of the existence of the NCPCA after living in Hollywood more than five years. I can’t help but wonder how my participation would be perceived if I actually went to one of these meetings.