If you were given a gift that could change your fortune, create opportunity, and improve your quality of life, would you toss it in the trash?
If this question sounds silly, then I would have to ask why a handful of residents continue to do this with their words week after week. I am talking about a small group of haters who, for whatever reason—feel obligated to denigrate all the progress the city is experiencing now and about to experience. Inglewood has been given a precious gift of a second chance. It is being rebirthed as a future destination city and reclaiming its crown as the City of Champions.
After more than 20 years in the publishing business and interacting with hundreds of people in this city year after year, I get asked why certain individuals (aka “haters) insist on jumping on the negative bandwagon about Inglewood. They do this day in and day out, regardless of how positive the world sees Inglewood or how well it is doing.
It is not uncommon to hear one or two people at a council meeting claim elected leaders are doing something shady, and lining their pockets with money, even without the slightest proof of these allegations. But, even without proof, they persist. They blame current leadership for things that happened 25 or 30 years ago –long before the new council had any authority in Inglewood at all.
Where is all of this criticism and negativity coming from?
From where I stand, it only makes sense to support the neighborhood where you live. Regardless of the location, climate, economic status or who’s in the neighborhood, if you live here, you would want to see your community thrive, wouldn’t you? Yet, I often find myself scratching my head, trying to understand the mindset of Inglewood haters.
Go to any council meeting, and you are likely to hear phrases like, “I am a long time Inglewood resident” or “I have lived in Inglewood for 30 years/40 years/50 years.”
The length of time spent here tells me that there is something that is holding them here. Why else would you spend decades in a city that’s so terrible. If there had not been any progress made, if conditions had gone from bad to worse, if you feel defeated by those in power, and feel you have no voice and there’s no way out, why are you sticking around. I’m not suggesting anyone move—just asking why.
There are some who feel that they must criticize, struggle or fight against every point that comes up during a meeting or discussion about the city. Some feel it is their civic duty to find something wrong instead of praise what is right.
Of course, there is nothing anybody can do to make someone feel differently if their mind is set at finding fault. No one can make anyone else happy, if they are determined to be unhappy. When it’s time to take action to improve Inglewood or partake in positive events in the city, these individuals cannot be found.
While I don’t know what it will take to make the haters stop hating, I do know life is short. Anybody who values time will want to make the best use of it. When you’re always bad-mouthing your city, yet never taking action to improve it, you are not only wasting the time of your fellow citizens, you are wasting your own.