Category Archives: Ethics

Married with Friends of the Opposite Sex

If you are in an intimate, marital relationship, you need to be sensitive and appropriate when it comes to friends of the opposite sex because it’s a very complex and delicate situation. 

The most important issue you should be concerned about is the safety, comfort, and trust of your spouse.  Too many times on my program, I hear from people who care more about their friend than their spouse.  To me that’s a dead giveaway that the friendship line has been crossed, whether you’ve been naked with the person of the opposite gender or not.

I want to discuss some ways you and your spouse can be protective of each other, but still have friends of the opposite sex:

What does it look like?  If you are getting together for a drink with someone who is on the verge of leaving a relationship, lost their spouse, lost their boyfriend or girlfriend, or is known to fool around, it’s inappropriate.  Plain and simple.  You’re only fibbing if you say, “Well, I’m just trying to be helpful and solicitous.”   Especially if your spouse says they don’t want you to be helpful and solicitous to somebody in that situation and you argue that point, it means you’re interested.  Just have the person go see a counselor, a member of the clergy, or family.  Your marriage is always supposed to come first.

Be careful of that little “edgy” sexual tension.  If either one of you is feeling a little horny about the other, or if you’re touching, talking, or acting a little suggestive, seductive, or over-the-line cutesy toward each other, it needs to be over.  If your relationship with a friend in any way makes you question or stress about your boundaries and limitations (which every relationship does at some point), you could be led toward temptation, which will change everything in your universe forever.

You should always make sure you introduce all your friends to your spouse.  Have them over for dinner or a barbeque.  Have them be familiar with the family, and have everything be on the up-and-up and open.  Full disclosure makes it clear to everybody that it’s a friendship – solo time is where the problems start.

You need to socialize with others who are also in committed relationships.   People tend to hang with people who share their same values, more or less.  So, if couples are friendly with each other and everybody has clarity, then everyone is sharing the same values.  Your wife can go with your friend’s husband and do archery while you go do a mini-marathon with his wife.  As long as it’s all on the up-and-up and everybody is sharing the same values, that’s the important thing.

Be careful about using the words “sweetie” and “honey.”  “Sweetie” and “honey” should be saved for your spouse and should not be used on a friend.  Use the person’s name when talking to or about them, and save the lovey-dovey stuff for your spouse.

Give your partner power.  In addition to honesty and openness, you have to be willing to give your partner power.  If your spouse is really uncomfortable about a particular outside relationship, I recommend you honor that and make the appropriate adjustments.  However, if your spouse just freaks out at anybody with the opposite genitals, then that’s an insecurity that has to be dealt with, probably by a professional.

What it all boils down to is that all the choices you make have to be in the best interest of your marriage first.  Otherwise, you’re not being nice, and it’s all going to come back to bite you.

Pregnant and Sacked

People feel entitled to challenge everything these days.  Even if they’ve understood the rules and they’re reaping the benefits, they decide they’re above the system and the rules don’t apply to them.  They get lawyers, go public, and cause grief.  These people make me sick.  So when I recently read about the Christian school teacher who got knocked up out-of-wedlock and sued the school for firing her, I was disenchanted yet again. 

Here’s what happened:  A 29-year-old science teacher and volleyball coach was fired from a Texas Christian academy for getting pregnant out-of-wedlock.  She says she has a fiancé, and defends herself by saying, “I’m not just some teacher that went out to a bar and got pregnant and went back to school saying it’s okay.  I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation.” 

She’s absolutely right.  If she had done things the right way – went on a date, received a ring, got married, and then had babies – this wouldn’t be happening.  By the way, a committed relationship is called marriage, not shacking-up.

She then claimed she had no idea she would lose her job over the pregnancy. 

What??

She teaches at a Christian school!  If you want to live a free and easy life don’t teach at a religious school.  She wasn’t fired because she wanted pregnancy leave.  She was fired because she broke the moral rules of a Christian school and became a bad role model for little kids.  And getting married at this point wouldn’t work , because she’s already knocked up out-of-wedlock and the kids all know.  

The school’s headmaster said she was fired for violating her contract, which includes a clause requiring teachers to be Christian role models.  “It’s not that she’s pregnant,” the headmaster said, “the issue here is being an unmarried mother.  Everything we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what every Christian man and woman should be.”
 
I can’t believe this twit has the gall to sue.  If this had happened back in the day, she would have been ferociously embarrassed, kept her mouth shut, and gotten married 20 seconds after she took the little pee test showing she was pregnant,  because her behavior would have been considered unbecoming a lady and unbecoming a teacher in a Christian school in particular.  These days, if you don’t tolerate something, no matter what it is, you’re a bad person.  In my opinion, how dare she sue.

Susan G. Komen Foundation Buckles

Yesterday, the Susan G. Komen Foundation cut off funding to Planned Parenthood ostensibly because it is in their set of standards not to give funding to organizations under federal judicial investigation.  Planned Parenthood is under such an investigation.

Just about every liberal group and organization came down hard on the Komen Foundation and they have now reversed their decision and will continue to give money to Planned Parenthood. 

I didn’t know money donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research was funneled anywhere else.  When I found this out, I immediately stopped being a donor or participator in any size, shape, or form.

There’s an interesting article by John McCormack in The Weekly Standard on Feb. 2, 2012: “After Lying About Providing Mammograms, Planned Parenthood Outraged That Breast Cancer Charity Cuts Off Grants“  

Here are some excerpts because I really want you to have clarity:

Last spring, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards went on CNN and claimed that if Congress cut off funding to Planned Parenthood “millions of women are going to lose access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning, you know, mammograms.” But as pro-life activist Lila Rose documented in a video, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. [It gives referrals.]

Remember this article was written before the Komen Foundation reversed its decision today…

This story is worth recalling in light of the news this week that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, one of the nation’s largest breast cancer charities, has cut off funding (more than $600,000) to Planned Parenthood. Cecile Richards wrote that the Foundation’s decision to “end its support of lifesaving breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood health centers comes as a blow to women across America.”

But they don’t provide mammograms.  Everybody is lying.  And whether the Komen Foundation gives its money to Planned Parenthood or not, this amount is not going to hurt Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.  This so-called “non-profit” is worth around $1billion.  They claim only 3% of their services are abortions, but that is very misleading.

There’s another cover article in The Weekly Standard from 2007 titled: “Planned Parenthood’s Unseemly Empire“  by Charlotte Allen which is also worth reading.

One way Planned Parenthood massages the numbers to make its abortion business look trivial is to unbundle its services for purposes of counting. Those 10.1 million different medical procedures in the last fiscal year, for instance, were administered to only 3 million clients. An abortion is invariably preceded by a pregnancy test–a separate service in Planned Parenthood’s reckoning–and is almost always followed at the organization’s clinics by a “going home” packet of contraceptives, which counts as another separate service. Throw in a pelvic exam and a lab test for STDs–you get the picture.

They “bundle it.”  So a person going in for abortion gets all these other things as part of the abortion package and then Planned Parenthood claims abortion is only 3% of their services.  ‘We have all these other things that are happening.’  No, they’re all happening because of the abortion.

Probably the most egregious thing is Planned Parenthood’s looking the other way to statutory rape:

A large number, perhaps a majority, of underage teen pregnancies are not puppy love gone awry, but involve adult men who are significantly older than the pregnant girl. A study published in the journal Family Planning Perspectives in 1992 found that 62 percent of first-time births to teen mothers had been preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape, with the mean male-offender age 27.4 years. The Guttmacher Institute reported in 1995 that more than 40 percent of mothers age 15-17 had sexual partners three to five years older; nearly 20 percent had partners six or more years older.

So in 60% of these pregnancies, the partner was an adult! By the way, the Guttmacher Institute started out as an arm of Planned Parenthood. 

Planned Parenthood’s confidentiality principles can thus run squarely up against laws in every state, typically bearing criminal penalties that require health care workers to report suspected incidents of sexual abuse or statutory rape to law enforcement. In 2002, a Texas-based pro-life group called Life Dynamics launched a sting operation, hiring an actress to call more than 800 abortion clinics nationwide, including many Planned Parenthood clinics. She told the receptionists that she was a 13-year-old girl who needed an abortion, except that her boyfriend was 22 and she didn’t want him to get into trouble. The reported response at 91 percent of the clinics (including Planned Parenthood’s) was: Don’t mention your boyfriend’s age when you come in, and all will be well.

So the Susan G. Komen Foundation obviously siphons off money for all kinds of things like supporting Planned Parenthood, an organization that seems to be okay with statutory rape under the aegis of “protecting children.”  Protecting them from what?  Certainly not adult sexual predators!  It’s despicable how much of your taxpayer money the government uses to subsidize Planned Parenthood which supports this kind of behavior.  And every time they’re caught, they go, “Oh, gee. We didn’t know this was going on.  This is terrible.  We’ll stop it.”

I think it is abysmal the Susan G. Komen Foundation collapsed when types supporting it like Hollywood moguls, Democratic candidates, and liberals with money, all came down hard on them.  Why did they buckle?  Follow the money.  It’s all about the money.  It’s not about principles.  It’s all about the money. 

So a pox on the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  And a continuing pox on Planned Parenthood.

I’m sure all you parents really want your 14 year old daughters to have sex with adult men and get abortions at Planned Parenthood without you knowing.  I’m sure you’re all very excited about that.  I’m sure you’d all go, “I’m for it!”  Well, that’s what you’re subsidizing if you’re giving money to either of those organizations now.  If that’s okay with you, then send your money.

Standing Up and Speaking Out

This is about standing up and speaking out.  Not enough of you do it, and you don’t do it often enough.  There’s a good reason you don’t – because you get crap for it and most people want to avoid getting crap in their lives.  When you tickle something somebody is sensitive about (and they feel guilt about), they’ll attack to protect their ego.  So, standing up takes guts and a commitment to your beliefs.  But without being willing to do such, how can you possibly EVER have any pride in yourself? 

What sparked these thoughts is Catherine’s email:

Dr. Laura,

A few days ago, my car decided not to start. Luckily, my husband hadn’t left yet, so he drove me to work before going to his job. Then, since he had an appointment after work, he picked me up from my office and took me with him. I didn’t mind going, considering he did me a great favor of driving me to and from my job.

While sitting in the waiting room at his appointment, another couple came in. The secretary and the woman started to talk very flippantly about divorce. They commented on how they had already discussed with their husbands – before getting married – what they would receive, (as they would say), in their “inevitable divorce”. I was shocked and horrified they would say such things betweent themselves let alone in front of their husbands. I spoke up by saying “It is very sad you feel that way toward the person you promised to love, honor and cherish. Your husbands obviously chose very poorly in a wife and I hope your children have better examples of what love should be other than yourselves.”

I got up and walked away from astonished faces. And when my husband met me outside, all I could do was hug him and let him know that thank goodness we were nothing like the people in that office.

Wow!  Let that be an inspiration.  Don’t be wussy – it doesn’t make you have pride in yourself.  And I certainly never want you to call me and say, “This is what I heard… and what I wanted to say was….” It won’t be a pretty moment.

Competitive Kids

Is competition good for kids?  I’m going to give you the short answer and the long answer.  The short answer?  After about 8 years old, it’s absolutely necessary.  Before 8 years old, most kids are not really ready to process competition and what it means, and what the rules are and what’s fair, and what failure means and the rest of that.  So, for the sake of argument, I’m going to be talking about kids over 8 – when competition is absolutely necessary. 

Failing is an essential part of growth and that’s why you have to let your kids struggle and fail.  Remember the 4 minute mile?  It seemed nobody could run a mile in less than  4 minutes.  Then someone did and everybody competed against that time. 

Have you ever seen kids trying to climb something for the first time?  One usually says, “Oh, I can’t climb that high.”  Another starts scooting up and suddenly the first child is climbing too.  Competition makes you dig deeper into what you probably can do.  Endurance, persistence, perseverance, self-control – these are things your kids have to learn in order to be successful in life at anything: a career, hobby, even relationships.  And most of this they get from competing. 

There needs to be a balance between competing and cooperation.  For their first 8 years, you teach them a lot about cooperation, but you can’t avoid competition even then.  It is kind of a natural element.  A lot of people think you have to learn to compete, but I disagree.  I believe you have to learn to compete WELL, but that competition is inherent.  It’s inherent in just about every animal you see on the face of the earth – from their coloring and plumage, to their mating calls – even how they swim or strut.   

Competition is a natural, normal part of life for resources, opportunity, reproduction, everything.  And teaching your children to do it well is a responsibility you have – even though it’s painful to see their sad, little, puckered faces when they didn’t win. 

And when they lose, instead of hearing them say, “I’m a terrible person…I suck…This is too hard…” teach them to analyze what happened because then they grow.  Again, children need to learn failure is part of growth, even if it’s a little annoying.

Competition encourages growth and pushes a kid to excel.  They learn about their own abilities, and they learn about their limitations.  And oftentimes, without competition, you can’t tell what you can do.  I like to play tennis with people a hell of a lot better than me because it pushes my abilities. 
Competition teaches your kids to set goals, develop skills, solve problems, and try out new things.  It also teaches them to learn rules, perform with other people watching and work with other people as on a team.

Competition is a very strong motivator, but parents who put too much emphasis on winning can harm a kid.  Before I took an exam in college, my dad would always say to me, “Give ‘em hell!”  That meant “do your best”.  Whatever that is, that’s all each of us has.  And my best may be better than your best at something, and your best may be better than my best at something else.  We’re all better at some things and not as good at others.  And that has to be the mentality you teach your kids.  No matter how good you are at something, there’s somebody better or there’s somebody better at something else. 

And of course it’s up to you to make sure they can treat triumph and defeat the same…with class. 

Kids who are not ready for competitive activities are usually kids who are more insecure, immature, selfish, spoiled or irresponsible. They may be too pressured from their parents, can’t play in teams, can’t handle frustration, haven’t developed patience or tolerance and they often throw tantrums after being overwhelmed by competition.  They have trouble sleeping, get headaches, have nausea, get depressed, lack energy, and create ailments and excuses to avoid activities… So if you do have one of these kinds of kids use your judgment and understanding when making decisions about competition.

You’ve also got to pay close attention to the ethics of competing:   right and wrong, losing and winning.  The Foundation for a Better Life has a great video on this. Watch:  Basketball    It’s how you want to teach your kids.  Competition is important.  Support your kids’ participation.  But ethics are more important than anything.

Women Who Love Prisoners

There’s an increasing population of women who want to date, have sex with or marry death row prisoners.  Some women actually find that sexy.  So I did some research in trying to understand more about why a woman would be turned on by that. 

We all know women are turned on by the bad guys. Most women are turned on by bad guys because we’re biological organisms, we’re mammals, and a bad guy is strong (or perceived to be that way), and able to protect her because he’s dangerous.  The worse a guy is, the more attractive he may become to a woman.  Remember the musical “Grease”?  Sandy is a nice girl and she falls for Danny who is a bad boy rebel.  So there’s a huge physical aspect to the attraction; it’s animal.  A lot of times the women who seek out these inmates suffer from a variety of psychological problems like depression or poor self-esteem and they seek out the unconditional love of someone who has less than they do to make themselves feel validated.

Women also become fixated with these pieces of scum because of the popularity the media gives them.  I mean, Ted Bundy became a celebrity.  So did Scott Peterson — it was all Scott Peterson all the time on television for a while. A lot of these women just cannot find love, so they pretend this is love.  And a lot of women don’t want to have to deal with a guy every day. 

I found some information on some two sisters who did this.  Two middle-aged, Christian sisters, Avril and Rose, left long-term, boring marriages for men in prison.  One man had been convicted of a string of minor property offenses and the other man had killed his previous wife.  His new wife, Rose, said, “I have faith that if you’re genuine with the Lord, you’re a new person.  A lot of people have said I should be worried about him because of what he did in his background, which is pretty awful and violent, but I have no fear.”  Despite the women’s faith, both relationships ended tragically.  A week after his release, the thief blungeoned Avril to death with a hammer.  The other husband ended up back in prison after trying to cut off Rose’s ear and trying to pull out her teeth with pliers. 

One of the realities of women being attracted to these men isn’t often expressed, because it’s not politically correct, but it happens to be a reality: hybristophiliacs.  These are people sexually excited by violent outrages performed on others.  These women often send porn pictures of themselves to the prisoners.  These women are not necessarily “sit back and just get horny” about violence.  A playwright, Veronica Lynn Compton, began a torrid affair with one of the Hillside Stranglers.  You remember those guys?  They were two cousins who abducted, raped, and mutilated very young women and then they ritualistically displayed their corpses on hillsides in Los Angeles in the 70s.  Yeah. 

As part of an elaborate defense strategy, one of the stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi, asked Compton to kill a woman using his M.O., because then he could say, “See.  It wasn’t me.  I’m in here.”  DNA evidence was not available then. Only the blood type could be determined from the fluid samples, so he asked her to sprinkle the dead body with his sperm and passed her a sample in a rubber glove.  Compton tried but bungled the attempt to murder the woman and the prospective victim got away.  By the time Compton was in prison for attempted murder, Bianchi had married somebody else.  And then Compton found another sexual, serial killer to romance.  One year he sent her a photo of a decapitated female corpse as a Valentine’s Day card. 

Vicarious murder is sometimes a motivating factor.  It’s easier for these women to overlook the violence that offends all the rest of us if they have seriously considered it themselves.  Even while the woman is the creep’s culpability, it is his ability to murder that attracts her.  He acted out on his rage.  The woman just couldn’t get around to doing that because, “I don’t know, I just can’t…I just can’t murder.”  But what a turn on that he can!  “I can live in the glow of his being able to let go of that inhibition when I can’t.”   Pretty sick…pretty scary, pretty sick.    

As I’ve always said, there are always women around to embrace evil.  There are infinite numbers of stories you’ve heard of women who stay with their husbands after the husbands have molested the children or somebody else’s children.  They will defend them and they will send their own kids off to go somewhere else to keep that man.  I remember one call in particular (thank God I cannot crawl through a phone line).  She called to see if it was okay now that her husband  (the step-father who molested both her daughters severely) was getting out of prison, if she could take him back because she “thinks he’s learned his lesson”.  They deny what they don’t want to know so they can have what they want.  There’s something sleazily erotic for these women.  It’s not just “they’re dainty and scared”.  Wow.

I guess a lot of women use these situations as an escape route.  It’s tough to be something, to be someone, to build…that’s tough.  There’s a lot of failure, frustration, and loss along the way.  Success requires a lot of work, and some people don’t want to work hard, so they join gangs and they steal and kill or push dope.  And the women gain a sense of power and position by being associated with this sort of stuff.  You become important and powerful by proxy. 

So, it isn’t about compassion.  It isn’t about really believing they’re innocent…they know they’re not.  It’s about getting off on it emotionally, sexually, psychologically…it’s about those 15 seconds of fame.  It’s about somebody so trapped in a prison he can’t fool around on you.  You’re safe and you own him, and all you have to do is show up with cigarettes.  It’s drama…it’s sick.  It is seriously sick.  And I feel the women who do this are evil.  Not pathetic, not pitiful but equally evil.  They want to make an allegiance with evil because it’s like being reborn with the position and power, the strength and importance and total control.  But it’s still evil.

Being ‘Hot’ vs. Being ‘Pretty’

You probably all heard about this really stupid story – they are happening more and more and more – when a kid misbehaves in one way or another and the parents call attorneys and the ACLU.  It seems everything is self expression, which then is supposed to be protected speech.  You may remember a long time ago in England, if you spoke against the royal family, you would end up in the Tower of London and your head would be chopped off.  The point of freedom of speech is to be able to speak up against the government and not end up beheaded.  It’s not used for things like this little “twit” — I’m sorry it’s my opinion she’s a twit.  I’m not going to say an “alleged” twit because I think this falls under the category of twit. 

Here’s the story: a Colorado high school rejected 18 year old Sydney Spies’ senior photograph she submitted for the yearbook.  In the photo, she’s on some wrought iron stairs with a light yellow, very, very, very short, little skirt and she’s got a shawl around her arms, covering whatever boobs she has — so she’s not even dressed.  She’s got the long lashes, the kissable lips, the platinum hair and her body is arched.  You see, that’s the important part.  Her body is arched so her butt is sticking out backwards.  Now, in the rest of the primate kingdom, that means “mount me.”

“…The yearbook staff initially accepted the photograph of Sydney posing provocatively in a yellow mini skirt and wearing nothing but a shawl across her chest. But after the holiday, school administrators deemed the photo unacceptable. The yearbook editors invited Sydney to hand in an alternative picture but they also rejected a shot of her in a skin-tight, strapless lacy dress…”

This broad wants to be a model, so she’s using an inappropriate opportunity to advertise herself.  And, of course, the Today Show had her on, so she got her wish: She got a public forum.  She is very upset the picture she paid for (a professional modeling photo) would not run in the yearbook.

“…Sydney isn’t backing down. She is paying $300 for a yearbook ad featuring her photo, and the staff has confirmed that the ad can run in the back of the book…”

How desperate is this little twit?  And of course, her parents are horrified her First Amendment rights are being besmirched.  People in our military died to protect our freedom and she’s using it is to dress like a tart.  I mean, you would see this on one of those websites for when you need a girl for the night or if you want to masturbate to a picture.  Here it is… send your $500.

It proves the point the whole feminist movement should really be down on this little twit.  Because…what was the saying? .. It was equal pay for equal abilities and equal opportunity to jobs.  But the other thing was they didn’t want to be treated like sex objects anymore….HA!  (And interestingly enough, a huge growing population of CEOs of porn sites are women.)

So, that got me thinking… In the National Catholic Register (they advertise themselves as the nation’s most complete Catholic news source), there is a terrific essay by Pat Archbold.  It begins:

This post is intended as a lament of sorts, a lament for something in the culture that is dying and may never been seen again.

Pretty, pretty is dying.

People will define pretty differently.  For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.

Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.

Read the rest of “The Death of Pretty”

It’s funny, I’ve had women’s lib folks tell me I’m sending women back 100 years in their search for equality because I think it’s important mommies raise their own children, but Sydney Spies posing like a whore doesn’t set women back 100 years to being an object?

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

There was an article in the news recently about a man who returned money he stole from a Sears store in Seattle in the 1940s.  The original theft was between $20 and $30, so the now elderly man returned $100.  The store manager believes the man’s conscience may have been bothering him for the past 60 years.  The store will put the money toward helping needy families.

So I was interested to learn what my listeners have owned up to – even years later – because of their conscience; why they felt it was important to right the wrong and how doing so changed their life.  Below are just three examples. 

I.
When I was a young, very poor child in the 1940′s nearly everything was ‘too expensive’  — even the little rubber balls on a rubber string that were only ten cents at the Five & Dime store.

One summer day I stole one of the little balls. It seemed to be such fun but sadly, my great aunt and grandmother had raised me with a conscience. The ‘fun’ even seemed to be stolen and not so much fun after all.

Years later, in my 20s we traveled back to my old home town. The first thing I did was go to the store and paid back ten fold for the little ball. The manager was open-mouthed at first and then smiled and thanked me.

It was a great feeling. Forgiven and restored. That was nearly 60 years ago but the satisfaction of handing a dollar to the store manager and wiping the slate clean is still with me. – P.

II.
When I was twenty-four, already living on my own, my mom had a hysterectomy. A week later it was her 50th birthday. I was supposed to go to her house, but I wanted to go out with my boyfriend instead. I told my brother over the phone it would be real boring because I’d have to sit around and just hold her hand. My mom was listening in on the extension and started to cry. My dad called me back, told me I was a slut, and he was ashamed of me. I went to my boyfriend’s house anyway.

Years later I told my mom there were things I did selfishly I had regretted ever since, and I mentioned the time of her 50th birthday. I realized how much it must have hurt her and I was appalled at my behavior. She said she forgave me, and was proud of the person I had become; I was a good mom and she admired my strength. I replied, “Every good thing I know I learned from you, Mom.” I think Mom was choked up and couldn’t accept the compliment, but I know my slate was wiped clean and it felt so good.

When she lay dying this past spring, I was sad and upset, but I never felt we had any unfinished business. In every way that matters, I know Mom loved me and knew I loved her. – L.

III.
In high school, there was a kid who was a real easy target for me.  We went to a small school; our class had 20 kids. I was a big kid, had a big mouth and silver tongue, and he was a little slow, didn’t have any friends, and torturing him was a quick way to get easy laughs and make myself look cool. It went beyond simple name calling and spit wads. You could say my friends and I were bordering on psychological abuse. I thought about it every now and then over the years, but just shrugged it off as teenage crap.

This July I went to my 20 year reunion. I was surprised to see him there, in the corner by himself, and, was shocked at the look on his face when he saw me. It was a look of fear and panic. I was made aware in that split second when our eyes met it was much more than ‘teenage crap’ to that guy. I wasn’t a distance memory he could barely recall. He was actually scared of me – 20 years later.

I felt awful. I spent the next hour or so away from my buddies, one-on-one with him, engaging in good conversation, about what he’s been doing and just general catch-up. Unfortunately, life hasn’t been much kinder to him than I was all those years ago.  Just before the dinner started, I leaned in close and said, “There’s something I’ve got to say to you. I owe you a huge apology for how I treated you, man.” He tried to dismiss it and I interrupted. “No, this is important. There was no excuse for the crap you had to endure back then. I have no excuse for the things I said and did, and I was an absolute bastard. I’d like to ask for your forgiveness.”

He studied me for a second, and then got a huge grin with glassy eyes as he put his hand out. We shook, he said he accepted, and appreciated it.

The rest of the evening was great, he had a good time, and his spirit seemed to lift. I’m not sure if that had more effect on me or him, but I’m angry at myself for not seeking him out sooner. All I can hope for is I’ve made it right, and that night was a turning point for him. – C.

I do believe no matter how many days, months, years or decade pass, it’s a good thing to right the wrong.  I’ve gotten so many calls from people having done something they want to apologize for, but it happened so long ago.  Absolutely, send a card, send an email; just don’t text — that’s the least sensitive way to apologize.  But make a connection and say you’re sorry – if you are.  Don’t excuse it, don’t even explain it.  The best way to apologize is to say, “I did _________.  It was wrong.  I regret it.  And I’m sorry for any pain I caused you.”