A Yankee's Musing

Monday, February 01, 2010


Seems as though I get a lot of hits on this blog through Google with the key words "Auxiliary Cops." Makes me wonder why? Are there really that many people out there who even know about Auxiliary Cops, let alone, NYPD Auxiliary Police? There are about 4500 of them here in NYC who give about 1 million hours of service a year. It is an astounding number of service hours from a very diverse group of people who care about the human community. The diversity far exceeds any police force in the country, I believe. That is all for the good because Auxiliary Police, although they represent the NYPD, are private citizens--they are you and me and everyone else. They are not strangers.

Volunteerism is big in NYC. There is even a Mayor's Office Agency on Volunteerism that began with Mayor Koch that acts as a clearing house. When things go bad in the world, or even closer to home, I think about how inspiring it is to know that so many human beings find time in their no-time, chaoic, lives to donate to someone else. Oh yes, there are still those who say: "I wish I could, but I am overwhelmed with responsibilities in my life right now. I can't; no time." But thank goodness there are many who say: "I am overwhilmed with responsibilities in my life right now, but volunteerism is a part of those responsibilities, not extra." I know for a fact that the busiest, those with two jobs, a family, school, even their church, still volunteer four hours or more a week. It often seems that those who have less time, give more; and those who have time, horde it. The latter are usually the ones who complain about things the most too. To complain about things and not actually work on solutions have a kind of arrogance that is in the very least irritating, and the most, demoralizing.

And I think about Haiti and I cry. I wish I could go there and help dig through the rubble for survivors, or even simply hand out bottles of water to the thirsty. Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross say it is money that is needed right now to make many hands, equipment, and the basics available right now. That is an easy request--I don't know anyone here in the USa who doesn't have at least a dollar in their pocket--and that includes street people I know like Luther, Big Bertha, Molly O, Thomas, and Hollywood. Do you know that these street people I just mentioned here took a collection from each other and donated it to the Red Cross last week? And then there was Katrina--where it was easier to volunteer as well as to give money--the Red Cross hotline was based here in the city. Clearly the injustices of the responses and non-responses to Katrina victims are in the forefront now and perhaps mending some ways of those who are in power. I am also reminded of the Twin Towers, both the bombing of l993 and the obliteration of 2001. And there was the tsunami which was so huge and encompassing, it is still difficult to really comprehend the human destruction. I am infuriated with so called religious leaders who cast stones about these events, like the leaders who blame Haitians for their own destruction. Earthquakes, endless tremors, hurricanes, imperialism, greed, racism, poverty, and illiteracy are some of the battles Haitians bear everyday with songs and machetes, with tears and rage. Humans are too often inhumane, and the world suffers. Volunteerism may not be the answer, but it sure levels the playing field.