YOUTH: Sins and stupidity

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When I was in my psychiatry rotation, I was required to attend two Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. The first meeting I attended was at the Long Beach VA Hospital in Long Beach, Calif. That evening nearly 100 people attended.

What I will never forget is the routine. Any attendee who wanted to speak would stand and say, “My name is ***** and I am an alcoholic, but I haven’t had a drink for X number of years.”

Today, if someone wants to run for a public office maybe they should start their first campaign statement with, “My name is ******* and I am a racist and a sexist, but I haven’t told a racist joke or a blond joke for X number of years. Also, when I was 6 years old my mother sent me out to trick or treat dressed as a ferocious cannibal from New Guinea.”

Are we headed for the early Mao China where once a week Chinese were required to attend a public meeting called a “struggle session?” In these meetings, you were required to publicly recall that you had a “capitalist” thought, or you heard a neighbor say something negative about communism. These sins got you weeks of cleaning public toilets or imprisonment.

Enough is enough! We humans are continually changing organisms. We should not be held responsible for our stupidity during our earlier years. Achieving maturity should count for something.

DICK SHELDON

Coeur d’Alene

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