I live in a social hotspot. Almost no day goes by without an ambulance or a police car standing in front of my skyscraper. Sometimes police check the car plates hoping to find a stolen car. We have security in the night hours to shelter our house from vandalism. A few years ago I came out of the elevator stumbling over 4 policemen in their midst one of my neighbors – by the way a very friendly guy. They found an illegal gun at his place. Maybe 5 years ago the floor where I was living then, in the same building, was burning, because kids had shot fireworks on the balcony of the 10th floor. Across from my house is an almost legendary fountain, which is a meeting point of all the drunkards of the neighborhood. And there is a lot more I could tell… E.g. that some people throw their garbage out of the windows, which the caretakers have to collect every morning. Or about the old armchair standing several days at the tram stop.
Why do I talk about it? All this dirt, all this criminality, all this drugs and broken existences, don’t disturb me at all. In a certain way I like it. Grown up in a Buddha-like atmosphere, my parents tried to protect me from every evil but you can’t protect a child in the long run from the bad things that belong to life. Accidents and illnesses are not in our hands.
I know that my worth as human has nothing to do with the environment I live in. I don’t have thoughts like “look where you are living”, or that I feel better than my drug-addicted neighbor. “Hey man, I’m not better than you – not at all.” I am who I am. Everybody deserves my friendly smile and a helping hand when it’ it’s needed. It’s funny although I like the people around me I could move away from one day to another if it’s necessary. I suppose that is what is called freedom. (Volker Schunck)