I’m reluctant to describe anything negative I see in my community, because then people ask me why I live here. I love Knoxville. I think the bad things that happen here are everywhere else, too. Other people just don’t seem to see what is happening before their very eyes. On Christmas eve, I watched a drug transaction take place in public. In fact, it took place in the exact spot where people wait to be hired based on their appearance to do day labor jobs in exchange for cash. No, I’m not talking about prostitution. I’m talking about construction type jobs. No, I was really talking about the two cars exchanging items and speeding off quickly. I’ve seen the prostitution though. In areas all over town with participants both under-age and too far over the age or rapidly aged by drugs. I’ve seen pick-pockets and shoplifters. Intoxicated drivers are everywhere. Children without carseats. It’s not just illegal activity that I find depressing. I see homeless people absolutely everywhere. Don’t other people see them? Do they choose not to see them? None of us live in Disney World where everything is clean and shiny. Things that are broken are not quickly tucked into underground tunnels for repairs. They are right in front of our eyes. Why aren’t we trying to help each other instead of being distracted by things that just don’t matter? What if our obsession with celebrities was concentrated on helping each other? What if professional athletes had to work second jobs and teaching became a highly competitive and well paying career? What if caring and helping wasn’t attacked as socialism? What if we didn’t have this broken two party hate system and the electoral college? What if 2008 was a fresh start?