Judging our neighborhood overseers

I’ve been enjoying my time away from Facebook, with the biggest benefit being more time to do things that really matter. I’ve hung out with more actual friends, gotten more work done on the house, and read more actual news and a lot less opinions.

I am still on MeWe and Nextdoor, and Nextdoor supplies me with any additional drama I may need. A few days ago, this gem popped into my feed

Overseer? Rid of crime? Whoa…what’s going on here!

So, for starters, this person lives in a crappy part of town. Nextdoor lists your neighborhoods, so I looked it up…and that neighborhood sucks. It’s not Chicago level, but its not a nice place. On a scale of “let my kids play in front yard” to “requires military escort to visit 7-11,” I’d give it a “keep a knife in your car for protection” level of safety. Basically, the person posting it isn’t off the mark about safety.

Now, when you read the word “overseer,” most people reading this blog probably sucked in their breath. I know I did. But I kept reading.

  • “Rid of crime?” I personally think that’s why we have police officers, but I don’t disagree with the sentiment
  • Streets are clean. Not disagreeing here.
  • Helping people repair homes. Sounds like charity work. I’ve helped my neighbors clean up, and they’ve helped me.
  • Make sure everyone is safe. Define “safe.” If its a neighborhood watch sort of thing…ok.
  • Make sure everyone has food. I donate to the local food pantry, so again, not opposed.

The more I read it, the more I realized I’m not in total opposition to this person. As you can see from the comments, plenty of people paused on the “overseer” word. Given that there are plenty of grammatical errors in the post, I would say this person doesn’t have a great grasp of English. Is it possible that this person made a poor word choice? I think so.

Even better, what if I made some tweaks. Let’s say the post looked like this:

OK, so I had some fun at the end with Karen and CNN. But if someone posted about starting a militia, most of the readers here (including me) would be OK with it. And if we also helped our actual neighbors, again, most would be fine. If we did a food drive, or a repair homes drive, or walked the streets at night to provide presence and deter criminals, again, most people reading this are probably OK with that.

I don’t blame people for jumping on the word “overseer,” but anymore social media has made people so quick to judge others that we’re missing opportunities to connect with real people. If you want to jump on every comment from Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi, I don’t blame you, because they don’t have good intentions. But your local neighbor is not Nancy Pelosi (hopefully not anyway). Maybe, just maybe, instead of instantly lashing out against the person, asking for some clarification might be in order.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

2 thoughts on “Judging our neighborhood overseers

  1. Was on nextdoor for a month or so and then the wu flu hit. After all sane anti fear comments were removed and the name calling became non stop, decided to close the account.

  2. Was on Next Door for a little longer than Deserttrek, a couple months, and found it to be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. People selling used garbage cans, complaining about the neighbor parking too close to driveway, and similar excitement.

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