A long time ago, 27 years, 28 years ago. My wife and I were a foster parents. Really, I guess you could say we were foster big brother and sister, because at the time we were in our very early twenties and we had a 15-year-old young man. Now, this young man, his dad was a drug dealer down in Compton, down in L.A., and had been in and out of prison himself. He had two older brothers and his mom had died when he was nine years old of a brain aneurysm. And so this young man didn’t have a whole lot of great role models for his life.
He got into gangs, as you can imagine. And he made a lot of mistakes and got caught. He got in trouble and ended up in our home with Oregon Youth Authority, and he was put into our home through a program. And he thrived. I sat him down and I told him, I said, you’re 15, you’ve made some bad choices. You’ve had some bad things that have happened to you. But life is not going to stop and just leave you alone. And you got to make some choices.
Do you want to be better or do you want to continue down this path?
Do you want to blame? Or do you want to get better? Do you want to do something about it? Do you want a change? He said he wanted to change. He started making huge progress. And he was like a model kid. I mean, it was awesome. It was like, I did have a younger brother, somebody to work with, and we went to work out and I taught him a lot of things. He started going to youth group and church with us and I mean, he was a great kid. Then we went to court and everybody was behind it. The program was behind him. They were talking about how great he was doing. The foster parents. Everybody was talking about what a great job he did.
The judge looked down at him and he told them, he said, young man. He said “Everybody here says when you’re focused and doing the right thing and you’re good at what you do and you have structure in your life and you’re committed to it, you seem to do a great job and you’re good at being good. I suggest that you stay focused and you stay committed and you continue to be good at being good. Because young man, it’s obvious to me that you suck at being bad.”
I just sat there and I listened to this judge and I was like, “Did I hear what I just heard?”
The judge said, “You suck at being bad. You get caught. You fail when you’re being bad, when you’re not focused when you’re not doing the right thing. When you’re focused and you have people behind you and you have a structure behind you, you seem to excel and everybody loves you. So I suggest you keep being good because if you get caught being bad again. The next time you might be 18. The next time you might end up in prison.”
Now. I wish I could tell you that there was an awesome story here because the young man did do some really good stuff and unfortunately they took him out of trouble because the system, once a person graduates from a program, they tend to put them back with family or they put him back with his brothers. One of his brothers, who was still pretty much a kid himself in a lot of different things happened. But what I want to focus on is not what ended up happening to this young man. And he’s doing okay now. He’s living his life and he’s not in prison anymore.
There are a lot of things going on. But I want you to focus on what the judge said, “When you have structure in your life and when you’re committed and when you’re focused and you have people behind you, you can succeed.”
When you’re focused, when you’re committed and you have structure in your life. You can succeed.
So on this Wednesday workshop. What kind of structure do you need in your life and what kind of commitment do you need to add? What kind of goals have you written down and what kind of people do you have behind you?
The leadership team here at Northwest Enforcement, Inc. is behind you.
What do you want to accomplish? Do you need help with your finances? I’m pretty good at money. I can give you some advice. I got books beyond books on knowledge and information on all kinds of subjects. I’m more than happy to help you. And other team leaders here are more than happy to help you.
We want to help you put structure in your life. We want to be a committed team behind you for your success long term, not just at work, but in life. So let’s be valuable because nothing else will do. Not just for you. For your whole family, for your community. For the long term.
All right. You have a blessed week. I’ll see you guys next week.