Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Balancing Act

Well, hello again!
Thanks for understanding that I needed a few days away from this machine
and the Internet.
Balance... it is all a matter of balance to me; so many hours of public stuff, and so many hours of private stuff-- so much of being loud, balanced by so much being quiet. Up and down. Yin and yang?

The weekend was very nice and wow!! fun. I got out on the lake (*Sardis) Saturday morning and set out trot lines, and also did some bass fishing from the boat up some of the nooks and channels of the lake. This was sandwiched between two dates with my lady Leti. Friday night, she and I visited her brother and his family in McAlester, Oklahoma and Saturday afternoon and evening, we hosted a fish fry among friends here at my house.

Which implies I caught some catfish or reeled in some bass. Half right- I caught four black bass worth keeping, and eating. The catfish we fried came from my best friends Marty and his wife, and Ralphie.

Leti is the one who suggested the fish fry, and inviting everyone over here. Honestly, I am overwhelmed with her, she does everything "exactly right".

For Example:
Today, Tuesday was a day for me to put into action, words that my Leticia told me. The guy who beat me up last spring, causing me to need facial reconstruction surgery, Darneal, was to stand before the District Judge again today, at 3 pm. (Background Here)
I rearranged my work schedule in order to be free, and in Poteau, Ok. for his hearing. At Darneal's preliminary hearing last July for the felony A/B against me, Darneal pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and promised to repay me restitution for my expenses involved, traveling to and from Tulsa for the surgery and aftermath.
$400.00.

Darneal served his time but never repaid the court costs or my costs, and was arrested again on March 30 on a separate charge: Public intoxication, for sniffing paint. He had been in the county jail again, since that date.

Leticia told me that he was in need of a friend. That, like everyone, Darneal was in need of a bolt from the blue. That he could use a self esteem boost. Leti told me that I could be that friend, the bolt, the boost that he needed.

So, I showed up for his court date, was able to speak with my old friend, and was allowed to address the court, as the victim of one crime and as friend of the defendant. Moments before I spoke to the court, Darneal was addressing the court, and crying at how his life had spun out of control, and explaining that he did not understand the former sentencing instructions, i.e. repaying me.

Speaking to the district court, I told the judge that once upon a time, Darneal was a good friend of mine; and that I always thought of him as someone who could be a leader of men if he had the chance and the motivation, outside of the temptation of alcohol. I asked Judge Jeff Mixon to allow Darneal to be released that day, with the firm stipulation that within one month of employment, he make restitution of the court costs in full, and then to begin my restitution thereafter. I asked the court to have another hearing in one month, to determine whether or not Darneal had made progress on this promise; and finally, that he be released to my custody.

The matter of his public intox. trial was postponed until June 10th. The intention now is for him to start to be a solid and contributing citizen, and maybe the public intoxication charge will be dropped.
And Mr. Darneal W. was released to my custody by 5 pm.

SAYING ALL THIS, TO EMPHASIZE THIS: This country needs a return to compassion, a return to a simpler time, when "the benefit of the doubt" was still important. America on the whole, has ceased to look a person in his/her eyes, and determined whether or not they are worth standing up for.

Some persons are. Some are not.
Don't come praising me for what I did; I acted like a friend, to a friend in need. I don't need praise--
focus on the bigger need, for a return to a more compassionate time in this country.

Believing in the potential of a person instead of the inordinate hurt of the past.
I only hope to push a friend toward his maximum potential.
(And yes, we did have a real good time, driving home!)

5 comments:

Abouna said...

I hope and pray that everything works out for Darneal.

I have learned a long time ago that there are some people that can be rehabilitated and then there are others who are beyond help. It is up to each individual to make an effort to help themselves and take responsibility for their actions.

I hope that your friend will make that effort.

The Localmalcontent said...

I do too, Father.

More than anyone else, you have known of his and my trials;
Darneal is a man who is capable of great things, in whatever path he chooses, even in crime;

I would like only to be able to say someday, that I helped steer him in a positive direction.

Brother John said...

It's hard NOT to praise you but I do understand what you are saying. I DO have to praise you, however, for demonstrating how we should treat our fellow human beings. This is what many people would call "Turning the other cheek". We also call it "being a beacon" as you focus the light of example on how we should live as a people. I believe in this with all my heart and all my soul. Thank you friend!

Brother John
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania USA

Jungle Mom said...

You have done your part. You will no you tried and we will pray he can change his life around.
I love fried catfish!!!

The Localmalcontent said...

Thank you also, John and JMom;
Your words are so kind, but really-

Darneal told me last night already, that he had put his detention into God's hands, and that my coming to his trial was his gift from Him;

I, really I wish only to do God's work, as I can.

This weekend, I'm going to help Darneal late/file for his $600.00 tax rebate check, and tax return; that will help both of us.