To Ada, though, it seemed akin to miracle that Stobrod, of all people, should offer himself up as proof positive that no matter what a waste one has made of one’s life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial.

This is a passage from Cold Mountain. I won’t spoil my review as I’m not even finished yet. But this piece really stood out to me. It made me think about a lot of things lately in terms of what it means to turn things around and do things differently.

First, I hate cancel culture. I hate how self righteous people seem to become when they see someone doing something they don’t agree with when the person may have just made a mistake. It’s one thing to ask for accountability, but it’s another to want to jump on the mob bandwagon and try to ruin someone. For example accidentally misgendering someone is not an act of violence, especially if you take accountability and try to correct it. Calling someone gay when you were in the 5th grade or in a tweet when you were in high school doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be homophobic and should be shamed forever. It grates me to no end. People get high off of trying to solidify themselves in the “more right” or “more woke” group and it’s sickening because it’s missing the point. But that’s a whole topic for a different blog about “calling in instead of calling out”. Anyhow. Still relevant.

Anyhow. I think this passage really struck home for me because … I help with forensic evaluations for sex offenders. Typically when people hear the term “sex offender” they think of someone who should be locked away forever for molesting kids. You don’t think of the context surrounding a behavior you’re certain is unforgivable, something that isn’t worthy of your time. Someone who is repulsive, disgusting … not someone who made a mistake. Sometimes we work with people, kids really, who at 19 or 20 years of age sent dick pics to someone under age during explicit conversations while drunk with someone they thought was of age and are now facing prison time. Now they will have a felony and have to register as a sex offender… and, you know, their whole lives are turned upside down by one dopey decision that their developing adolescent brain made. Its just so heartbreaking because you think about how much shit they’re facing, and how some people think that they’re trash and unredeemable. There are very few people I’ve met in my life who I think are unredeemable. Do people do stupid awful things? Sure. I’m thinking the laws weren’t created to ruin the lives of young people with rough backgrounds. It’s no excuse for the behavior but the mindset that everyone who does something wrong should just rot forever in misery is not something I can get behind.

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