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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Good or Bad?

As a child, I watched the Cosby show religiously. Bill Cosby provided a positive model of fatherhood and family life. Similarly, I enjoyed listening to Cosby's humor as well as his advocacy for education and children. To me, he was a role model.

Now the news sheds light on behavior attributed to Cosby that's illegal and troubling. Why did he do that we wonder? How could he make such a bad decision?

The issue reminded me of a story closer to home. As a teen, a man I knew had a very positive affect on my life. When I needed someone to listen, he listened. When I needed a space to create, he provided that space. He also gave of his time to plan fun trips and engaging events. He offered me lots of support and engagement at a time when I needed it. He was never inappropriate to me in any way.

Years later, I heard that this same man was accused of inappropriate behavior with others, and in time, long after I had contact with this individual, he passed away at a young age. I'm unsure of the circumstances that led to his death, but I was sad to hear the news.

The story of Bill Cosby and the memory of a man who helped me when I needed it are stories of good and bad. Again and again we see this in life, people who do good and do not so good. Is it right to condemn them? Is it right not to expect reparations for their wrong doing?

I haven't read a lot about this good and bad together. I'm thinking about it and where it belongs in the way we treat people, remember the past, and regard them in the present and future too. What do you think?