COLUMN: Maybe good does win in the end

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By Joan Burke

When I was in middle school on a band trip, my friend and I stole some bobby pins from a local dime store. A store detective spotted us from about 500 yards away. He marched us up to the front of the store and bawled us out in front of about 100 people. Or so it seemed. I was mortified. But he let us go. I never stole anything again.

Another incident occurred during a high school assembly program — on the gym floor, a two-person act appeared. The man was belting out a song as the woman enthusiastically played an accordion. The lady wore an ensemble that looked like a square dancing costume.

My best friend, Frank, sat with me watching the performance and thought it was hilarious (I think it was the accordion), and he began to elbow me in the ribs. I started to giggle, and to my horror, I couldn’t stop. One of our classmates slid her eyes over and shot me an icy glare. She went straight to the principal and Frank and I were called into the office. Once again, I was busted.

Besides the moral lesson learned from these experiences, I realized that I was a person who could never do anything bad without getting caught. This was a good thing, because it kept me out of trouble for the rest of my life. 

But a strange thing did happen. I was once accused of doing something I did not do. No matter what I said, including presenting evidence of my innocence, I stood accused and was pronounced guilty. The details would serve no purpose here other than to tear open an old wound, and it would put me in a vulnerable position.

Just to make sure, this has nothing to do with any feedback from readers of my columns. I relish any opinion, yea or nay, about my politics. I’m grateful you’re reading.

I started to write this piece about how my blessings were more important than evil that befalls us. And then, I was going to say that these hurts we experience in life don’t matter compared to the blessings we have. I was going to tie it all up with how people who do harm to others seem to get away with it, but that their karma would get them in the end. 

But it did not ring completely true. I was leaving out that being treated unjustly is extremely painful, even when one attempts to take the high road. In truth, I was writing this to get it out of my system. No matter how I present this, I’m going to sound like I’m whining, my husband said. So, oh well, I’m whining a little. 

But I do know where my priorities lie. Each person has to live with some unfairness. It is a big deal only if we make it so. I’m working on not making it a big deal, if indeed the good guys really do win, in the end. 

Joan Burke is a Lawrenceburg resident.