I promised a follow up story from my ride along, so here it is. Actually this story goes right along with several other large stories that I’ve been witness to the last few months. It deals with the weight of our decisions and we all make decisions. From the small to the large, each one of us make hundreds of decisions.
And every one of them matter.
Monday night I went on a ride along with a police officer friend of mine. One of our calls was to interrogate and arrest an employee that had been stealing. This wasn’t a situation where the individual had grabbed a pack of gum and put it in his pocket. This was the tipping point of months of theft and poor decisions. As my friend read him his rights (they really do that by the way) and discussed his options, I stood witness to “that moment” when the weight of his decisions became real. I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics to a song from a few years ago.
People never crumble in a day.
The journey from your mind to your hands is shorter than your thinking.
I’m a sucker for a story so I wondered what caused this individual to feel that desperate. I wondered what, in his life, caused him to feel that he could get away with it. I wondered how he could know that his employer had a security system that rivals Fort Knox and yet he did it anyway. I wondered if he thought he was actually getting away with it or if deep down he knew there would be a moment of reckoning. I wondered if he had a well thought out plan to return all that he had taken once he got ahead.
Then I noticed the wedding ring on his finger….
Like several other stories I have seen the past few months, the shrapnel of our poor decisions can lead to the damage of innocent victims. We have to know that. What we do in that moment or those moments has consequences. Often those consequences affect those around us even more than they affect us. We will do the crime (so to speak), but often our loved ones will “do the time.” They will carry the weight and burden of the clean up. They will be forced to make adjustments to something they never asked for or dreamed would happen. Decisions can effect generations.
Understand that as I stood in that room and had these thoughts, I didn’t stand in judgment. I actually felt remorse. I felt remorse for the many times I had made bad choices in life. I felt remorse for the ones that ended bad and those that I seem to think I got away with. Don’t get me wrong, I never stole from an employer, but there are decisions I’ve made and regrets I carry. I’ve pulled the pin on a grenade more than once and left before I could see the damage it caused.
The intent of this post is not to be a Debbie Downer. Actually, I walked away from that moment doing some personal inventory. Maybe this post will do the same for you. Are you in the midst of some bad decisions? It’s time to come clean. It’s time to get real. If not for yourself, do it for those around you that will bare the burden if/when the consequences meet the choices. It’s a slow fade. Decide today to stop the fade. Think about the weight of your decisions. You’re not alone. I’m thinking about my own too.