Ever hear that phrase? Maybe while talking to a neighbor, or a friend, or even in a group at a community event. The words seem harmless enough but they do something far larger than put together a joke or conclude a cynical argument.
Saying the words ‘It’s only Roselle Park’ leads one to believe that nothing will ever change. It is equivalent to the ever more popular phrase ‘That’s the way it’s always been done’. It brings a constructive argument about what really matters – taxes, schools, crime, businesses, the downtown, and municipal services – down to the lowest possible level.
Similarly, but perhaps more specifically damaging, is that the one word ‘only’ acts to dismiss an entire community. It makes any time, work, and frustration put into making things better look (for lack of a better word) silly. After all, what is a fight without the chance of winning? What those who tout this phrase fail to understand is that dynamics change. Social, political, economic – The culture that envelops these matters evolves and we, Roselle Park, would do ourselves a disservice by dismissing ourselves and staying static to methods that do not adequately meet the demands of 21st century standards.
This is not only Roselle Park. This is a community of 13,297 people who work, eat, play, sleep, worship, and live out their lives in a way of their choosing. This is Roselle Park.
The point I am trying to make is that we face many ongoing challenges as a community that very well seem difficult to face. Sometimes they are difficult – but resolution is never impossible, and frankly some things are worth the time, work, and frustration. I would argue that it is unfair to brush off the burdens we face today, as a Borough, only for them to be placed on the plates of others, future residents, and those who wish to stay in Roselle Park for generations to come.
This is Roselle Park. Period.
– Andrew J. Casais