Lance Scranton: It’s gotta be true!
A long time ago, when I was a wee lad and I had all of my future well out in front of me, something happened. I can’t really say what it was, because as embarrassing episodes go, this one was a doozy! But suffice it to say I learned a lesson, was disappointed in myself, and hoped it wouldn’t be held against me as I moved forward with my life. Unlike some, I remained imperfect and made a few more mistakes along the way as I grew to maturity and realized that, at some point, my youthful indiscretions would amount to a reputation I wouldn’t want to have should I continue.
Time went on, and I began to grow, mature, and look back on my actions as a time when I learned some valuable lessons and began to formulate some type of mature code for living. Many of the things I did when I was in Junior high and high school were just plain stupid, and being surrounded by fellow stupid people — stupidity tended to abound in many areas of life. But somehow, I made it through and became an adult with career aspirations and a lifestyle that reflected a more mature approach to life.
But, in all of the things I did as a teenager in high school, wrapped up in the frenzied era of the ’80s, and in all the excesses and time youth affords, I am certain I did something to hurt people in some way, shape, or form. I’m certain I was selfish. I’m absolutely positive I made bad decisions. I’m confident I mishandled situations, and I’m forever embarrassed about some things I wish I hadn’t done.
So, if you are like me and you wish you had done things differently as you look back across the years, I offer you the same advice I give my students should they care to listen: Sometimes, life can get the best of us, and we can get caught up in things that we regret later and may regret for the rest of our lives. But, people have this amazing capacity to forgive, and time can sometimes appease some of the bitterness that hurt can cause.
Being young is difficult, and we can make bad decisions, but if you own up to your mistakes and do your best to move in a better direction, your life can get better, and your capacity to make better decisions will grow exponentially.
It’s gotta be true that we’ve all made mistakes. It’s also gotta be true that we need to learn to live in the light of hoping we can each become better people if what we have done serves to teach us instead of consuming us.
It’s gotta be true that, as messy as life can get sometimes, we all deserve a chance at redemption. It’s gotta be true that what is true about each of us is that the truth does set us free from the bondage of fear and regret.
But, it’s gotta be true, or it only serves to tear us down and destroy those of us who have learned from our past and lived lives in light of the truth of our imperfections.
But, it’s gotta be true.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.