I am constantly learning and evolving. So I appreciate teachable moments, no matter how embarrassing. I want to share one that I had right before entering law school.
I attended a short pre-law program that was supposed to help prepare us for what law school would be like. We were split into groups, and my particular group was having free time during “class” one day. There was discussion centered around the criminal justice system and one of my classmates said that she hangs out with criminals. Without thinking I asked, “You hang out with criminals?”
Her response was something along the lines of, “Yes, I do. Some of my family members are criminals and convicted felons and I don’t love them any less.” It was a very classy read and I was immediately humbled and regretted thinking out loud. But in hindsight, I am thankful I said something. Because it is those teachable moments that are not only beneficial to myself, but others around me who may have been thinking the same.
I had never thought about it that way. A person who is deemed a “criminal” really depends on what the law deems is criminal behavior. And we all know that some things should not be considered criminal (for example, possession of and smoking marijuana, in my opinion). It was a great teachable moment for me, and I am thankful for it.
I later apologized and said that I can relate. I hang out with criminals, too. They are my friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles. My grandad has stolen food to feed his family. I never thought of him as a criminal, but the legal system would. She opened my eyes to a new perspective and it has stuck with me to this day. Thanks, sis.