Tuesday, March 24, 2009

bad guys

My son, Agent Offspring #1, is four. And in his vast world view, there are two kinds of people: good guys and bad guys.

He plays various adventure scenarios in the back yard based on the embarrassing amount of videos I never thought we'd let our kids watch. And the characters in his play adventures are realistic but quasi predictable. The good guys do good stuff and the bad guys do bad stuff.

He's probably too young to comprehend that sometimes bad people do good things and sometimes good people do bad things. Hell, I can't always comprehend it.

And then there's "who gets to decide what is good and what is bad and what is the definition of good and bad". And on and on.

A couple of weeks ago, my next door neighbor, former backyard shadow, and garden wars competitor The Tiger finally went off to jail for some crimes he committed about two summers ago. He was on probation for a while until he broke his probation.

I told him about jail a while back, hoping to convince him to live on the up in up during the probation period. It didn't work I guess. I said "you're 18 now. You're a man in the law's eyes. No more pansy juvenile detention wus-ville. You'll get put in a cell with six other guys who will force you to be their girlfriend, all at the same time".

I love The Tiger. He really has good in him. A lot. I've seen it. I've lived next door to him for six years and have known him for four years prior to that from the old izzy group ministry food pantry days.

Not to defend his actions but, in many ways he never had a chance. I mean, he grew up moving every four to six months. His mom moved him and his two siblings into one roach infested hell hole after another. He grew up watching men beat his mom. I'm still amazed that to this day he has yet to copy that behavior. He's never had a girlfriend that I know of nor has he created or participated in any physical violence.

He's just such a follower. He's never had a grand goal or even any small goals and stuck with it. He's never had any parents or adult role models that had goals either. He just lives day to day and see what stuff happens. That's the poverty mentality.

But he's a good guy. Deep down. I know he is.

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