“I am sorry, Malden. I think I may be partially to blame for the violence in this city.”

One residents view on violence and the sickening realization that they could be playing a part in allowing it to continue.

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me food to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.' Hungry not only for bread - but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing - but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks - but homeless because of rejection." Mother Teresa

As I heard, again, of another shooting in Malden, I eagerly scanned the news for any information I could find, wanting to ensure that it did not happen near the schools my children were in.  Whew!  They were safe; hence, my tiny world was perfect again.  As the day progressed and I finally had a few moments, I meandered over to the comments section of the Malden Patch.  I clucked and tisked like an old hen as I silently nodded my head in agreement at some of the people that were voicing their opinions in regards to that crime and previous crimes that have been committed against my beloved City of  Malden.   Some of the finger pointing made sense and the “City” is most assuredly to blame for all of this crime.  Right?

As the hours ticked by, I soon learned that Shawn Clark, a husband, a father, a son, a friend, had passed away from his wounds.  Slowly I watched as the proverbial finger slowly turned from others and towards me.  What did I do?  I was not involved. I did not do anything!  As if a brick dropped on my head, I understood in that one moment.  My face heated in embarrassment and shame as my internal voice agreed.  That is correct, Kelly.  You did nothing.

In that very moment I realized I needed to apologize to you all for many things.  So, to everyone in the City of Malden, I am sorry.

I apologize for my indifference, as each crime took place.  Because it was not against “my family”, I did nothing.

I apologize for not taking the time to attend the meetings of the City officials in trying to get residents to come together and take some sort of action, because Lord only knows, I didn’t even try to come up with a plan of my own.   Again, I did nothing.

I apologize for my complacency, as a Malden resident and voter. I have a say in how this beloved city is run, yet I did nothing.

I apologize for walking down the street and not picking up the trash as I go, allowing my City streets to remain cluttered and filthy.  Instead of taking pride in where I live, I have chosen instead to blame others, walk by and do nothing.

I apologize for not setting a positive example to our youth, through my own actions, words and attitudes - choosing instead to do nothing.

I apologize to all of the small businesses in Malden, for not patronizing your establishments more and getting to know you better.  For you, I did nothing.

I apologize to everyone that I have passed walking down the streets in Malden, avoiding eye contact with you.   Making excuses and justifying my behavior because you are strangers to me, you look different or you did not look back; again, I did nothing.

I can’t fix the past but going forward, I promise to take responsibility and accountability for my actions.  Instead of judging or placing blame, I will look for the perfection in each of you and ask that you do the same with me. Then I will ask, “what can I do to help”, instead of asking or expecting others to do all of the work.

We all look to the outside world, and eagerly place blame on the senseless violence that is surrounding us.  Maybe, and this is just a thought, we need to first look within ourselves and our own families and ask, “are we doing enough to improve who we are and who are children are”……and if we work harder on ourselves, maybe that would be the first step in improving what is going on around us.

Kelly Ilebode is a Malden resident and published author.  If you would like to visit her personal site, you may go to www.kellyilebode.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kelly Ilebode February 02, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Yes this article was meant as a blog on social indifference as moxie so eloquently stated. I and many have a part in the piecing the fabric of this city together and the intention was for us to reflect on our part - which many of you did. I did not expect everyone to agree or like what I said, but I will ask that those that understand my point, feeding the negativity and hate, will only breed more negativity and hate. Their words will not define us, but only define who they are.
Kelly Ilebode February 02, 2013 at 01:53 PM
So true Robert and Mike G. you hit it on the point exactly.
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I AM NOT SORRY for the current crime wave, I am angry and frustrated about it, but I am not a law enforcement officer, and i am not going to be a vigilante, what I do want is for the police chief to provide solutions and enact them, that is why we pay him a very nice salary for. I am sorry for the family impacted by this crime though.
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 02:46 PM
In the companies I work at, I have been rewarded numerous promotions and bonuses, because I see problems and offer solutions that save the company money, improver operations or increase revenue. Not every one is a slacker,and I am sure most of the people that live in this city and work hard are not either
broadway Jay February 02, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Kelly those questions you posed were actually statements in disguise.. As Dr Phil so cleverly said, "90% of all questions are statements in disguise". If you think picking up litter after these PIGS is an effective method at curbing these problematic events in this city, then by all means.. I surely ain't picking up after any pig! This was an agenda driven op-ed that offers nothing more than a Bohemian Wonderland for a pack of angry academic egg-heads and the criminal element to thrive and co-exist in these wonderful farmers markets and food truck paradises.
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I believe I actually offered suggestions, not crying boohoo I am not a good enough citizen to live in Malden. Time to close down the businesses that are most likely bringing in crime. Pawn shops. Dollar stores, storefronts with no customers adult businesses running in a residential neighborhood, etc.... Al this is offering is I am not worthy , it's my fault for not being a good citizen.... Please.....
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 04:33 PM
OK PAUL...Friendly Geesh.. :>)
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 04:34 PM
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I got Tatters n musterd growin out of my ears hmmm. :>)
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Very good. Like this one. Hope you dont mind but Im going to copy this and hang it on my wall.
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Heck No its not about feeling sorry at all. I understand where she is coming from. She has reached the hearts of everyone who wants to have life better,for us to be aware of whats around us. Like what it used to be.
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Good greif I thought it was a bad batch of Viagra which only gave you a stiff neck..Cymbalta hmmm what does that do? A 4 fingered shot of Absolute out of the freezer and a splash of Prune Juice works for me! :>)
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Paul I don't think your a Do Nothing Type from reading your posts at all. Far from it. For one thing your addressing the problem here which is read all over. It has brought everyone out to realism even Kelly. These blogs travel. Just posting here is doing something. I dont do Facebook but I can imagine what goes on there.
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I think the food trusks were put there to kill the other business near by. There was no need for them. Ching Chang again in Malden. The farmers market are nice . I believe that it is better to buy locally anyway. I liked reading Kelly's letter for it takes you away. But yes there is reality. When your a victim of crime it doesnt go away so you feed the visciuos wolf.
Tellitlikeitis February 02, 2013 at 05:57 PM
not to sound over political here,but the whole country is going through what malden is as far as crime goes.this whole country is morally bankrupt,this is what happens when the people allow the gov't to take away god out of schools,and public space .and also whaen i went to school there was pride in the teachers back then,they cared about how a kids life was ,there was practically no bullying cause almost all kids new morally it was wrong cause thats what was taught in school and at home.nowadays the schools are just worried about the kids test scores and promoting homosexuality and teaching entitlement rather than responsibility,todays students are so weak when it comes to character,courage,personal responsibility,and basic human dignity and respect it's scary.i blame it on the so called liberal progressives and the media for cohorting in this despicable dumbing down of society as whole.tell me why they call themselves progressives,they have not made any progress in any facet or project they have touched and they have absolutely ruined the education system in this country. sorry but the facts are the facts and everything i just stated are factual,research it yourself and see who made all these radical changes to our education system,it's enough to make you sick when you do research it and find out the real truth.
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Promoting homosexuality .... Really. Are you serious. You obviously do not know any teachers..that's just silly
broadway Jay February 02, 2013 at 08:06 PM
David Mokal, if Kelly's letter takes you "away", I'm staying put.. This slobbering love affair offers solice to those who seek to create a criminal sanctuary and operate with absolute immunity knowing enablers like this ill-informed electorate exists ! Kelly & this starry eyed, awe-struck Patch community can keep up with the Kardashians, because the criminals & sex offenders are taking notice of Malden and moving in! Wow, so uplifting, now YOU break bread with them!!
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 09:15 PM
are there any cougars. ;)
Diana February 02, 2013 at 09:17 PM
And that's why you can't see the obvious conspiracy between the egg-heads and the thugs and what's REALLY happening in those food trucks. Duh.
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 09:20 PM
probably would be a parade more than running around shooting,, am i in trouble for that, just hate stoopid ignorant hate speach
Diana February 02, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Rick, while there are plenty of reasons not to take jay seriously, I think that comment was from a different tin-foil hat wearer, Tellitlikeitis. Please don't ever make me defend Jay again, mkay? ;)
jirkyrick February 02, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Oops you are right, had the same I hate liberals , blame everything on them theme... I stand corrected. Although I have to admit I probably. Sound that way sometimes when I start ranting about the dollar bodega stores with no customers in them and the over abundance of government subsidized housing in this city. There is nothing wrong with either of those, but I still think when there is too many of these, that invites crime as the standard for living in the city is set to a very low level. Show me a community in America whith a high proportion of these with low crime and I will be very surprised . I believe this has more to do with the crime in this city than anything else
donna February 02, 2013 at 09:55 PM
There is no simple answer to crime .yes we need more police but Years of neglect to the youth of our community has left kids with nothing to do but hang on the streets. In the last year as a parent I see lots of programs being initiated. This is a start We as a community need to get involved reach out and show the children of our community we care. We may not be able to help those who have already taken the wrong road but we must still try. We can definitely help the young children in making better choices. The last outreach meeting the rotary club had I was the only resident without an official city title that attended. We can debate and complain all day online but the bottom line is We need to get involved
Leonardo DaVinci February 02, 2013 at 09:57 PM
No one gets your drift Paul, because your drift is predicated on a misguided interpretation either unintentionally, because you lack comprehenive skills, or intentionally insulting others just for attention. Either way, you have no real clue what others who post on this sight have done or not done for this community. You have zero knowledge, of what contributions, others have made in behalf of this city, "so why make inflammable remarks, as if you do?" Were exchanging ideas, tell us yours and stop pretending that you have serious answers to crime and justice in this city like we need more prisons. This is your answer to crime? Seriously do you sit down with a bottle of liquor or a 6 pak before you begin to post? That might explain your cynical obnoxious rants, ripping ideas intended to inspire. members of this community to make changes. You just don't get much of anything positive from the thoughts of others, because you actually think your have real answers? Mark Mattioli father of young James Mattioli of Newtown, Conn. who was murdered in the Newtown massacre, was talking about people like you, when he suggested that more civility is needed in this country. Something your reprehensibly short off. You talk and write like a punk. Of course, I can only suppose that you are a punk because I don't really know you, but I wanted to give you an example of your style. Just because you suppose something, it doesn't mean it's true. Can you understand that!
paul surette February 02, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Thank you, Jay....at least a few of us get it. Kelly's piece was nothing more than a kumbaya moment where she suddenly felt good after writing it. The world is full of these so-called 'good intentionals'. People like her point at people like me and call me negative, because all I ever ask is for people to be accountable for themselves. Yet folks like Kelly want to make themselves some sort of martyr to some cause that they are interested in for maybe 20 minutes, then it's on to the next 'crusade'. I'm sure after she wrote the piece, sipping on her latte, she closed her Mac Book Pro, and turned on PBS, and said to herself "I made a difference today!".....two words for that....Oh, Please!
Leonardo DaVinci February 02, 2013 at 11:09 PM
The "Teen Enrichment Center" is a positive step in the right direction. I believe we can still do more, but let's not forget there are many who have been involved in community activities all along. New ideas can bring even more. As a child we went to weekly meetings of the Junior Police held in a local school. We got to see movies and prizes were raffled off at the end of the night. It gave the kids in our community to get to know the police and see that as friends and teachers. There 55,000 people in Malden and I'm sure great ideas are ahead to get more and more people involved at all levels. Drugs of course are a great threat to our peace and tranqulity and the greatest danger to the city's children, and are very likely the most obvious reason for un-controlled crime. Positve ideas are needed, not negative ones.
Kelly Ilebode February 02, 2013 at 11:10 PM
No, Paul, it is because of people like you that I became the person I am today. I took one beating at a time growing up in foster care learning that I had two choices, I could either become like "them", or help others. I choose kindness, caring and accountability. Tear me down, and beat me up, because I want to give hope to people? That is completely your right, but it is also others rights to change their way of thinking or think differently. Obviously you are not one of those people and I still respect your opinions either way. I will not talk bad about you because I do not know what road you have traveled, just as you do not know what road I have traveled. Peace to you my friend.
Kelly Ilebode February 02, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I believe this also Leonardo!
Kelly Ilebode February 02, 2013 at 11:18 PM
ROFLMBO!!! Now THAT is funny Mike G :D
david mokal February 02, 2013 at 11:22 PM
@ Ceasar/Kieth/Mike G yes I figured i would be deleted no harm done. I was accused on the other blog of condoning a petifile and maybe Althenia should look up my police record. Im which I have none.Her statement should have been deleted. Not to worry no Sour grapes here. She has created a cyber war with slapstic comments which can be very dangerous. Something I would never do to anyone. So there fore she is a Finger Pointer like what is in Kellys Letter.


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