Can you ever redeem yourself after having done something stupid?
We live in a pencil and eraser society and yet when children and adults alike do something they should not have done, all we seem to be interested in is assigning culpability and punishment. The use of pencils in school and work is remarkable. You make a mistake and it is quickly gone by taking the eraser to it. How much of quick erasing is going on in your life? This is not so when it comes to crime and punishment. That is more a ballpoint pen situation – it stays for good. Being able to assign blame and culpability is supremely important as is coming down hard with punishment. Very little to no thought is given to rehabilitation and so a devilish cycle perpetuates. The probability is high that new not so smart activity is going to happen soon again. It is really so sad to watch. Here we miss such a great chance to offer folks with an opportunity to realize what went wrong, make sure that a lesson is learned and then offer joining the rest of our community in a “normal” (insert your meaning of this word here) fashion again.
Some adults have a proven track record that they will not learn much anymore and those are the ones that we should think twice about letting them join our ranks again soon without safeguards. One key issue that you should ponder sometime soon is what happens to younger and younger folks: Children and adolescents are more and more treated like adults. You do two things when you mentally throw away the keys to their future. For one you rob them of their youth. Let children be children. They make mistakes that should not prevent them making a positive contribution before they even had as much as a chance. It is more important that they learn what better choices are. The other thing that you teach them when you follow the adult methodology is that they may be not “worth” the effort and worse yet because they may now have permanent black marks on their records can no longer gain access to better education or careers.
Do not get me wrong here. I am not advocating a free for all for everyone. I am just saying that we all deserve at least a second chance at life and perhaps more if we can prove to society that we can make a positive contribution. You/ we can start by making common sense a common practice. Scan for an opportunity to jump in and help when someone needs it.