Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is Cincinnati near The Tipping Point?

I'm reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell right now. My brother-in-law, the eternal entrepreneur who is forever giving me ideas on how to boost book sales, passed it along and suggested I read it. The back cover reads, "The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." One more drop in the bucket and the floodgates open.

One more drop hit the bucket this week in Cincinnati, Ohio. Actually, three more drops.

The three drops are a nineteen-year-old mother, her nine-month-old son and a three-year-old toddler she was babysitting. All were found shot dead inside her home, apparently the victims of a domestic violence altercation between the mom and her boyfriend. Just in case you are thinking, "Come again? Really?", I'll repeat it. Someone shot a baby in the head. A baby. And his mother. And the three-year-old she was babysitting.

Certainly nothing magic about that. But stay with me here, I'm going somewhere with this.

Watching the news tonight, (I have to stop doing that before going to bed!) something was very different than in many homicide cases in Downtown Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine. Most times residents and others look the other way. When the police knock on doors and search out information, they are met with silence. Many crimes go unreported and even more remain unsolved. Not this time.

People are speaking out. They are pushing past their fear or whatever held them back before. They seem to be saying, Enough is enough. We will no longer look the other way. We will stand together and stare down this evil. We want a better life for our children and our families.

Maybe this is the social behavior that can spread like wildfire and result in a coming together of our communities. Maybe the rest of us can find that courage and passion and do the same for the foster children who live in every area of our city and the struggling families who need our help and support.

Dare I say, I think Cincinnati is on the verge of a Tipping Point. And not a moment too soon.