01 March 2008


doing the right thing. earlier this evening i watched on DVD a movie called "Gone Baby Gone" -- a very intense and excellent film which deftly explores how seemingly clear choices between right and wrong, can carry unanticipated and unpleasant consequences, even if the "right" path is chosen. that has been my experience repeatedly in life, in relationships, as a parent, a teacher, in just about every job i've held (and there have been many). rarely are issues and answers as simple, as black and white as they may first appear to be. at least, not the most important, the most fundamental issues and answers.

i look back on certain critical passages in my life, moments in which my decision to speak up or to act (or not to) led inexorably to a result which i thought would be predictable, but which held ripple effects i never would have chosen. it strikes me that this is nearly always the case when we arrive at a cusp, a threshold. it is new territory, with new horizons and new risks.

in a lighter vein, consider the following messages seen on t-shirts:

~ the villagers are coming with torches and pitchforks. please hide me!

~ some days, it's not even worth gnawing through the restraints.

~ i'm not speeding. i'm qualifying.

~ they say i have A.D.D. but they don't understand. oh look! a chicken!

~ not all who wander are lost.

~ life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

~ guns don't kill people. postal workers do.

~ a mistake doesn't require blame. it just requires a commitment to improve.

~ i'm not conceited. i'm convinced.

~ rarely does one encounter a combination of human traits quite so frightening as a psychopath with a purpose.

~ people need a bad example. it gives them pride in doing the right thing.

which, please note, brings us full circle.

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