|I Love Potatoes but for Years Vilified Them|
So many things get vilified. I am guilty of casting the poor potato in a bad light. For years I loved baked potatoes. But then after reading and hearing how white foods like white rice, white flour, white sugar, and salt were bad for you I changed my feelings to the potato. So on to my naughty list went the lovable potato. It wasn't till years later that I realized that the potato has fiber, it's a vegetable (albeit starchy), and if baked or used in soups has a lot of nutritional value.
You know people get vilified too. They are cast in a bad light following an arrest for DWI or DWAI drugs. Are they really a bad person or merely a person that displayed poor judgment? Can we transform the perception for punishment of a demon into call for rehabilitation of a human?
People Arrested for a DWI are NOT Their Behavior
As much as we would love to easily cast people as good or bad that just ain't so. Some people arrested for a DWI have a true illness, like alcoholism or drug addiction. These are the cause, the reason for their bad judgment and poor decision making. These people are in need of help for their deep seated issues. There are others who do not have a long standing issue or problem. If this is a first time offense, and just a one time mistake should they be given a chance at redemption? I say yes.
To Err is Human to Forgive Devine
All people, including those who drive while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive them as well. This saying is from “An Essay on Criticism,” by Alexander Pope.
Multiple DWI Offenses Over a Period of Years Speaks to a Deeper Problem
If someone has multiple DWIs or DWAIs or DUIs over their lifetime it may indicate that they have an abusive relationship with substances. They are in need of being diagnosed and treated. I see many people in our practice that are high functioning substance abusers. Many of them hold jobs, have positions of authority, and have loving relationships.
People Depicted on TV or in Movies with Drug and/or Alcohol Problems are Generally Stereotypes
The people we see depicted in movies and on TV with drug and/or alcohol problems in many cases are stereotypes. This is not what the typical person with a problem looks like, for the most part they look like you and me. Often they go to great lengths to hide their problem. They say one in ten people has an alcohol problem, and another one in ten has an issue with prescription drugs. Without even counting the others who use illegal drugs this is at a minimum 20% of the general population. One in five of us is walking around with an issue. This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of mental health issues. In our office building there are many therapists, they are all very busy. Sometimes I joke they are too busy considering all this therapy why isn't Ithaca healthy already.
So I guess the moral to this story is, next time you seek to cast fast judgment upon your neighbor or the guy who is DWI in the local paper remember "there but for the grace of God go I."