Washington, DC

As I was walking home from work a young lad perhaps 15 or 16 was walking past me with his girlfriend.  This was the one sentence I overheard him say: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw my moms locked up”.  Or something like that.  My God.  I could not imagine my life if my mom had been in jail and in this case on more than one occasion.  There but for the grace of God…   I grew up in New York with my Mom and Dad driving me to soccer games every weekend.  I am who I am now, not because there is anything in my DNA, or because my parents were rich (both civil servants), but because I had fantastic parents who raised me properly and did everything in their means to give me a good childhood.  You know former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak once famously said, if I were born Palestinian I would probably be a terrorist.  And if I had seen my mom locked up I would probably be selling drugs and toting a gun or at least in someway “off track”.  I’m not saying this particular kid is mixed up in the game but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.  On a lesser note, it also makes me think about the littering problem.  If a kid like that is littering what the hell does he care about tossing trash on the ground when his mom is in jail.  Maybe he simply wasn’t taught that littering disrespects his neighborhood.   I’m just saying the incident gave me pause and made me realize it is not fair just to automatically blame the kids who are mixed up in a rough lifestyle, its something to think about.  I suppose this is where mentoring could really help…maybe the only thing that could help.


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