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 WORD OF THE WEEK – Then and Now


MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (05/18/15) – All too often, people will live out their lives in a mirror image of what they were in the past. You don’t have to. Just because you were a certain type of person then doesn’t mean you have to be that person now.

Let’s take yours truly as an example. I was a wild teenager. I was rebellious and strongly believed that I didn’t have to follow the rules that society had set forth. If someone told me that a certain way to do something was the morally correct way, I would do the opposite. I was not a good example of a good citizen during my youth. To quote a famed song, I fought the law and the law won. Does that mean that I fight the law now? Absolutely not. Now I fight FOR the law.

One particular instance that shows that you don’t have to be what you were occurred late at night when I was around 18 years old. I decided that I was going to walk into Greenville and start stealing things out of local citizens’ cars. I did just that. I hit a number of cars, stole a number of things. Fortunately, I was seen stealing from a car and reported. Greenville Police Officers found me and chased me down. I was taken to the Greenville Police Department where two officers, one of which was Darren Harvey, questioned me. I denied that I did it at first, but Officer Harvey knew I was lying and did not give up questioning me until I finally admitted it. For a few years there, I thought Darren was the bad guy.

Now, almost 30 years later, I consider Darren Harvey and most every law enforcement officer in the county my good friends. We laugh, joke, cut up and I help them whenever possible in promoting local laws and upholding the law by giving them information. On their end, they stand with me by promoting our news service, giving me information on recent law enforcement activity, and more. Those that I considered bad guys back in my teenage years, I now see them as heroes and friends.

Don’t give in to your past. Just because you made mistakes back then and saw things from a skewed perspective does not mean that you must do so today. Use your past as a learning tool, not as a mirror image of what you have to be now. I let go of my bad days. I tossed them to the side and went forth to be what I am supposed to be. You can do it too.

If you have lived a life where your past is the standard for where you are now, and if it is a bad life, take this opportunity to let it go. You may have messed up then, but you don’t have to anymore. Focus on doing the right things. Help people in need, even if it is in a small way. Go out of your way to build your moral values, to do the right things in life. Let the bad days go and let the sun rise for your future. You can be an amazing person, regardless of your past.

J.L. Graham
KenCo News
www.kycountynews.com