Craig Editorial Board
- Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
- Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
- Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
- Allan Reishus, community representative
- Chris Runyan, community representative
- Ken Wergin, community representative
Is the court system too soft?
Is it too hard?
Does tough love work, or should we use a softer hand?
How many times do we see criminal offenders repeat offenses and go through the legal system cycle again and again?
Is the system in place effective?
The answers to the questions are surprisingly the same.
All across the board.
For some, the court system is too soft on defendants, but at other times, it's too hard.
Ditto for all the other questions.
It all depends on the person in question, because when it's all said and done, there are plenty of programs in place to help people if they so choose.
We can offer a hand up, but the individual must choose to stand. Or choose not to and fall back into his or her old ways.
This concept is not new.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
The point is, everyone responds to adversity - outside or self-inflicted - differently. Because of that, it is the person who makes the decision to succeed or not.
This issue is not limited to people facing legal problems. It includes all of our self-destructive habits, from smoking and drinking to apathy and obesity.
Being locked in the grip of an addiction comes from within, whether one is hooked on nicotine or Big Macs.
So, how can we, as a community, assist in stopping these cycles of self-destruction?
We still need to offer resources to help, understand the problems people face and realize a healthy community ethos is better than a fragmented one.
We also should look in the mirror first before assigning blame to others; realize that every time we point a finger at someone, four of our own fingers are pointing back at us.
And to those who are locked in grips of addiction, the Editorial Board encourages you to look around. Are the friends you have really "friends?"
Or are they people who simply enable you to continue your path because they are on the same path?
If you were to quit your addiction, would these "friends" still be around?
If so, great. If not, they have never been your friends in the first place.
The best friend you can have is yourself.
But even in saying that, realize this: You're not alone, and there is help.
Again, there is a helping hand to help you stand, but you have to stand on your own. But it's more than just standing. It's about finding a place you can stay rooted in healthy decisions.
To remain surrounded by the same vices and options is not a winning solution. If you smoke, you cannot expect to go out with other smokers and truly expect to quit. A lifestyle change must occur.
But again, it's all back on you. And you can do it.
Or as Lincoln said, "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."