Sunday, December 6, 2020

"I'm Just a Pilgrim On This Road, Boys"

Took the trash to the dumpsters yesterday. Saw a piece to a jigsaw puzzle on the ground. Alone--no other parts--just laying there... Not only incomplete but not even on the road to completion.

It was probably even more pitiful than to see a puzzle all assembled but for a missing piece.

Kids don't  need a frivolous set of standards to conform to. They need a set of values to adhere to. They need a place to belong to. 

They need a chance to share interests with other kids. That means that they need exposure to a range of potential interests.

That means giving them a chance to develop new talents and new interests with other young people.
That means giving them a chance to explore their individual talents in a group setting. How else could one learn to become a great donkey trainer?
For much of my life I put together puzzles at the horse lot. I help take individual pieces and make them into a complete picture.

 The rest of my life is spent as a juvenile court prosecutor. The kids that I prosecute, and even more often the children who are the victims of crimes by adults, are like the puzzle piece that I saw on the ground beside the dumpster. They have been thrown away. They have never been given a chance to become part of anything beautiful.

 Living life on such a strange split screen makes me feel like the protagonist in Steve Earle's great song, "Pilgrim On This Road". I feel like I am constantly waiting for that day in which I "will understand it bye and bye."

As we climb out of this virus and begin to rebuild our lives we all need to work to strengthen programs that give a kid a place to belong. We all need to work hard to put puzzles back together.

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