The Oakland Buddha

A secular man in Oakland successfully managed to nearly eliminate crime in his neighborhood with a mere statue of a Buddha that he purchased from a local hardware store.

This neighorbood, 11th avenue and East 19th Street was once a very rough area of Oakland, filled with illegal activities occurring on a daily basis, including everything from robberies, drug dealing, prostitution, assaults, littering and vandalizing, among many other crimes.

Dan Stevenson, a local man decided to invest in a 60 cm tall stone statue of Buddha and put it on the street corner right by his home. People would constantly throw out their junk in that very spot and all kinds of shady people would hang out there. Stevenson figured that the statue would be an improvement to what was there.

In this case however, thinking of the statue as a mere improvement would be a real understatement.  He had at first hoped that the presence of the Buddha statue would bring a form of peace and serenity to the troubled area. or at the very least, prevent people from littering.

What Stevenson most certainly did not expect was that the statue would create a ripple effect that would completely transform the nature of his neighborhood.

At first, the littering stopped. and then people even started to clean up the trash that was already there. Prostitutes and drug dealers started to stray away from the area, and people stopped spray painting graffiti on the walls.

Local Vietnamese immigrants began to come visit the statue and offer it gifts of fruits and incense sticks.  Ever since Stevenson placed the Buddha there, crime in the area went down by an incredibly impressive 82%.

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