From time to time, I think about my early childhood in Omaha Nebraska, growing up in Virginia, and right now living in Texas. I think about where I am today, and where the people I grew up with are. I wonder about the choices they made compared to mine.

This past Friday I read a sub headline ‘Dion Phoenix’ and how he may have been a part of a murder and robbery. I think about how he made fun of me in middle school and was an overall class clown. I saw him off and on throughout high school. Never would I have imagined he would be in an orange jump suit, with jail photos all over the internet. Despite the bad memories, I don’t wish jail on anyone.

For some reason, reading the information about Dion spooked me. I spoke with other educators and their experiences and memories with people they grew up with. Most of them said, “Some ended up in prison, murdered their mother, charged with rape…” and as shocking as that may be for me, for them, it was nothing other than the norm.

If I continue to be blessed with more years, I find life worth living and wasting it would be a shame. We are all given one shot, one chance, on this earth. Some people are given more opportunities than others; but we all have choices to make. So make those choices count.

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