Wednesday’s What a Character!

Did you watch the Madoff movie last week on ABC?   It was really quite interesting.  My husband and I DVR’d it, so we were able to watch it in 2 hours or so.  It was a two-day event.   I hate sitting through the commercials.  I know, I know!  I just said that, and the Super Bowl was on the other night.  I know many people watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials.  But I don’t like commercials.  I don’t have the patience.  Sorry :/

Anyway, Bernard Madoff is an interesting character.   I actually found myself at different times (1) justifying his behavior, (2) feeling sorry for the guy (which he would hate!) and (3) wondering.    Yes, he was a crook.  And yes, he belongs in prison forever.    I agree.

However, what got to me was at the end of the program.   Mr. Madoff said that the only people he regretted hurting was his family.  That’s it?  Your family?  No one else?  Not your loyal secretary? (former secretary here) Not your many other employees?   Your friends?  What about the people who trusted you with all they had?  There were many, many people, businesses, unions and even charitable organizations who were drastically affected by his decisions and schemes.   Yet, he doesn’t regret stealing from them.  More than one person took their own lives because they felt they had no other way out.  Yet, he claims to not have any remorse for these people.

Well, that got me to thinking.  How do I affect others?  What choices have I made that hurt others?  Every day we make decisions.  Every day there are choices we make on how we are going to live our lives.  And in doing so, we are not the proverbial island.  The decisions we make affect others.  Our choices:  wise or foolish; merciful or harsh; compassionate or callous affect other people’s lives.   If you choose to smile at a stranger, you impact his life.    You see a really pretty blouse on the lady next to you in line at the grocery store, tell her you think her blouse is pretty.  She will stand prouder and taller because you did.   Be patient in said line.  Even if the clerk doesn’t say “Good morning,” you can.    Don’t yell at the car in front of you.  They can’t hear you anyway, but your kids in the backseat will.    Yeah, I know, these are all little things when compared to the decisions Madoff made, but they still impact others.   Our lives and how we choose to live them has real, lasting impact on others, even the little things.

So, who do I want to be?  Do I want to be cold and calculating, or do I want to be kind and caring?  Those are decisions I am going to have to make and

A Lesson I Can Take from This Character.


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