Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Second Chances

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while have read about the old family farm - Brookberry Farm. It's a special place and over the last few years I have grown frustrated with those that trespass at will to hunt, ride ATVs or use one of the old vacant houses to hide out from parents to smoke a little dope and drink. Well, this last Monday night as I crawled into bed and turned on the news I was horrified to see one of the vacant houses on the back of the property on fire. I flew out there and met with the Chief and investigator, etc. Long story made longer, after I had sent emails and made phone calls to all of the local schools, homeowners associations, the Chief of Police and the Sheriff, the boys knowing the noose was tightening, came forward. Four of them, one age 15 the rest are 14. All from good families. As angry as I am, I find myself a little heartbroken for them. Although their records will be sealed when they turn 18, this will haunt them for the rest of their lives. The fear they felt, the anguish of disappointing their parents and greater yet, the uncertainly of what their fate will be now having been charged with trespassing and arson. I pray that this is sufficient enough for them to pivot off and move forward in good orderly direction. The alternative is that they just believe they are simply bad kids, so they do what bad kids do. This is a quandary that takes a lot more pain and effort to drag oneself out of.  We are a nation that not only believes in, but counts on, second chances. God knows I would be nowhere without them. I believe that these are good kids who did a terrible thing. I just hope that they believe the same of themselves.

The photo really has nothing to do with this post, but being that it is a black and white negative of a positive color shot, it shows that there is always more to everything we see.

"When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. "

Hugh White


VOS said...

What a statement, Bo. I appreciate how you are handling this. I may well know some of the boys or families- not certain at this point. It would be nice to believe that I would handle the situation as well.

Brookberry Girl said...

I hope you get the opportunity to tell the boys what you just told us. It may not be a true lessoned learned until they see the sorrow their actions have caused, not just to them and their parents, but to the "person wronged." These boys probably aren't expecting second chances now. They are experiencing everything you said and more probably because they are from "good families." I hope you get to give some closure to this sad situation by showing them the power of forgiveness, even though they have to reap the consequences of their actions. Taking responsibility and being held accountable are about the two best deterrents for repeated negative behavior I can think of.