Friday, October 10, 2008

A Tipping Point to Peace

On September 24, the Edmonton Journal told a good-news story of city counsellor who helped turn around escalating teen violence in the community of Mill Woods, "Road to justice in Mill Woods takes a splendid turn". City counsellor Amarjeet Sohi brought together the parents and the police to talk and come up with solutions. Most impressive is how the escalating violence has been brought to an abrupt end, and struggling parents were brought together for assistance and mutual help.

I think this is an impressive example of, not only of great leadership on the part of Counsellor Sohi, but of the principles of the tipping point as described in Gladwell's book. Not only was an epidemic of violence stopped in it's tracks, but a new positive epidemic of support and helps was generated for a community.

I think the incident also points out that we can't objectify violent teens as a problem of "those people". The problem could erupt anywhere, in our own households, if the conditions are there. Parents everywhere take note, and get help if you need it.

We mustn't justify violence as a natural progression in a growing, struggling city. Find the root of the problem and be as bold as Sohi to take action.