PATERSON, NJ - A new website focusing on Paterson was created this month. It's call Positive Possibilities in Paterson. The website's purpose is simple. It wishes to broadcast only positive news taking place in Paterson. Consider it the greatest social movement attempt in world history, engaged in by nearly an entire citizenry.
The website's creator, Lyle Silverman, says that for far too long, Patersonians have been subjected to an unhealthy barrage of negative press clippings about the city. As a result of this, he says, far, far too many positive stories have been swept under the headlines by news of shootings, poverty, and just all too often, only the failures of the community.
Here's some of his message to his readers:
"First I must mention choosing to call this Paterson's Mission. I am only one part of the equation. To accomplish everything that I want to in life, my success is going to be determined by others. If this idea is to succeed, it will be because Paterson chose to make it so. Hence, is Paterson's Mission. Again, I can't take credit. You'll keep seeing that theme pop up and you'll see exactly why throughout the site. Self-less ain't it? I hope people believe my sincerity.
"Now as an educator who wishes to transform this city in the most positive fashion, I always felt that even as an AmeriCorps Member last year, that the classroom constrains my ability to affect wider change across the city. Then at some point I realized I definitely had the ability to do more. So I did. And I do.
"I recently began researching the subject of 'community' in order to see what else I might be able to do. One of the first things that really stuck out to me was a common theme that we have to figure out a way to change the conversation that has left us in our current state. That negative, crime ridden conversation pollutes our papers, our daily conversations, and most obviously, the city culture itself. With this new website, I am here to begin changing that conversation by showing Patersonians the entire scope of positive possibilities that can be achieved by banding together as a true community.
"I ask today, that everyone in the community join with me in making a commitment to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors, and to our city. Let us make a commitment to take control of today and our future by ushering in a new era of positive possibilities in the city of Paterson. I ask you to join me because quite frankly, I do not have the ability to transform this city by myself. I wish I did but the reality is not a single person in this city can go and transform it with no help. We all must come to this realization. From this point on, we as Patersonians must come together and prosper. That is the only way. We must come together as a community. The only other choice is to suffer as individuals. That is not a viable option at all.
"To begin this new present and future, I ask that any person with a positive story to share, to please share it with this website so that we can spread the word and inform everyone about all the good that really is possible in Paterson.
"We will show the amazing possibilities of Paterson by showing people the proof that is in the proverbial pudding. Negative press will be thrown to the back pages while the headlines become overrun with positive stories. No longer will we allow selfishness and violence to grace our headlines. No. Those negative headlines no longer deserve our attention. Just as we would ignore a child acting up for attention, from this point forth, we are going to ignore those who wish to bring our city down with negativity. We are going to ignore those who tarnish our reputation. We are going to ignore those who take our brothers, sisters, cousins, and fathers away from us. Yes, they may still exist for the time being, we are not going to eradicate the tragedies in one fell swoop, but their days of negativity will soon be coming to an end. Together we will make it so.
"Positivity is contagious and before long, our negative contributors throughout the city will begin to see the possibilities that they are holding all of us back from. They may round up their crews one day in preparation for a fight or conflict, only to find out that there are so few of them left that still see value in violence. At that point, they will be left with two choices, choose to keep fighting with themselves or treating themselves terribly until every last one of them ends up in jail or dead? Or will they decide to join the rest of us in the community as we choose to live...''