As adults we like to share our wisdom with youth. Many adults claim we never made mistakes. The youth of yesterday were wiser than today, we claim.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. We all make mistakes. Perhaps it is just as we get older, we like to forget them. What the youth do not know will not hurt them, right?
For me, I often thank my lucky stars over a night when I was at college at Lethbridge. Every Sunday night, Mitch Blair, David Kormos and I would go for pizza at Harpo’s. It was one of the few pizza joints that served liquor on Sunday. That night, we admittedly had one or two more coolers than we should have. It was between 11 p.m. and midnight when we dropped Mitch off. I was driving. Dave was next.
But there was a problem brewing. We were both feeling pretty good cruising up and down Mayor Magrath Drive aka as Lethbridge’s Main Street. You just knew something stupid was going to happen.
“What do you have to drink at your house?” Dave asked.
“Nothing. I rent from a Mormon family. No booze allowed.”
“I think I have something at home,” David replied.
Off to his place we went. When we arrived, Dave announced he had about half a bottle of lemon gin.
“I hear the Temple looks great at night,” Dave said.
Off to 7-Eleven for mix and off to Cardston we headed. We mixed the lemon gin with Coke Slurpees. To make a long story short, we went to Cardston, then took the long road home through Brocket and Fort Macleod and arrived home between 4-5 a.m. Dave was sound asleep by 2:30 a.m. I remember finishing most of Dave’s Slurpee.
“See you at eight,” I told him when I dropped him off.
He laughed, telling me there was no way I would make the 8 a.m. class.
He was right. When my alarm went off at 7 a.m. I was sick as a dog. I literally could not move. My first – and last! – experience with lemon gin had not been a good one! One of the best lessons I learned in life!
I finally dragged my sorry butt to college for the noon class and suffering greatly. To make matters worse, Dave had told everyone of our adventure the night before including a close female friend. She had no sympathy for my stupidity. She snuck up behind me and my misery, and screamed in my ear, “What did you do last night?”
Oh, the pain!
Why would I tell you this?
I was lucky. Very lucky. The night could have ended far more tragically than a brutal hangover and a lecture, plus some stern looks from a few students who expected a bit better from me.
Many others are not so lucky. Far too many.
The point is, we all make mistakes. That night, I had no thoughts of getting away with anything. It was just a silly college student, doing an insanely stupid thing, and putting not only me and my friend’s life at risk but also anyone else on the road happening to meet us.
Or, getting an impaired.
I knew better. It was just a kid doing a stupid thing and letting common sense and good judgment disappear in the name of a good time.
The next time you hear an adult acting high and mighty to our youth, telling them how “perfect” they were growing up, remember they weren’t.
And as an individual, perhaps a little more compassion is needed as we try to teach our youth the right way to behave. It may worth far more than a lecture on how perfect we were when in fact we were not.