I was thinking about bad choices I have made which have followed me throughout my life. You know the ones. Your parents (and others) warned you about them. Mostly after the fact.
"You shouldn't have robbed that grocery store. That felony conviction will follow you the rest of your life."
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that!
They never seem to warn you ahead of time, do they? I do not count the store manager asking "Are you sure you want to do this?" He really isn't offering you advice.
No, you rarely hear someone say "Let's not rob that store. If we get caught, we'll be branded as criminals forever." None of my friends ever did. No, they would say things like "Not that place, the owner has a gun."
Let me point out that I am being facetious. I have never robbed a store at gunpoint. Honest. If you read anything to the contrary, it is likely to be just a malicious rumor by someone who dislikes me. And is just making things up. And is probably a criminal.
No, most of my mistakes were made by others. Especially one other. You see, I have an older brother. And he was no angel. When I got into junior high school, he had already been there two years and had established a reputation.
So the first time I was sent to have a little chat with the dean, it started this way:
"Are you going to follow in the footsteps of your brother?"
Now, granted that question would not have been asked if I hadn't gotten into some kind of trouble. But I swear I was mostly innocent. It might have even been ignored if the teacher hadn't known who my brother was.
My choices were to be bad or completely innocent. If I couldn't be completely innocent (and who can?) then I might as well be as bad as possible. I was not given the benefit of the doubt in any situation.
Then, too, there were my friends. Not exactly stalwart citizens. So there was that guilt by association thing going. But the good kids shied away, understandably. So who else was I supposed to hang out with?
I think about all this when I look at political candidates.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago