I’ve noticed something among many of the defendants who I represent, particularly younger ones who have gotten in some trouble before. When they are talking about the charges they face or other charges which are pending, they tell me that they “caught” a charge. They’ll be telling their story and include something like, ” . . . and that’s when I caught this charge.”
Depending on the situation, I’ll sometimes stop them there and help them realize the flaw in their choice of words. The choice of words, whether it started out as a mindset or not, can create a mindset which is based in a lie. That is, for them to continually say that when they are charged with a crime, it was something they “caught” can create the idea that somebody threw it at them or it was just bad luck.
For those with ears to hear, I’ll show them that charges aren’t caught. They don’t float around and just get on us. They are not like a cold or the flu. Charges almost always come from someone putting themselves in circumstances that lead to trouble. They typically come from bad choices. We don’t catch bad choices, we create them, and if we don’t own them then we’ll make them over and over again.
Whether it’s a criminal defendant or anyone else, breaking patterns of destructive decision-making can be difficult. It may be that we have irresponsible spending habits or sloppy time management. Often times, our destructive patterns come from priorities in which we are not making what should be First our first. The result in any case often shows up as a mindset and pattern of behavior which is open to trouble or confusion.
The first step for any of us in getting things going the right direction in a particular area of our lives is to own it. It’s our deal; we are the ones responsible. That’s why I take time to correct the whole “caught” it thing. The next thing is to strip it down to its lowest common denominator. We need to ask ourselves “why do I do the things that I do?” Next is the follow-up question of, “OK, why is that?” Then may be another follow-up of “and why is that?”
It’s useful to write down our answers. It’s useful to get the counsel of someone we trust and at the same time, they can’t tell us their answers. The answers are within us and we have to be willing to do the hard work of responsibility and honesty to dig to the core. Our answers have to be Revealed for us to recognize their foundational Truth.
At the core, if our Foundation is anything other than Eternal Truth, then our foundation is soft and fragile. Only with a Foundation which does not have any cracks or inconsistency can we build up the structure of healthy and productive mindsets and decisions that help us to avoid “catching” anything.