When we're in extremis -- deep pain, deep fear, deep shame, deep loneliness -- what keeps some people attached to the world, what keeps them from deciding the best alternative is to just let go?
I'm in the middle of studying for finals, and one of our last assignments is to write an essay on legal ethics, as they apply to the case of two Seattle attorneys who took drug money to represent members of a local cartel. The charges also include what they tried to do to hide the illegal money -- which, by legal fee standards, was nothing.
I know how I'm going to write the essay -- I have the Rules of Professional Conduct in front of me; I can define and discuss the particular rules that were broken ... but what about these men?
By all accounts, they are not bad people. Part of the assignment included reading 18 pages of endorsement letters from their colleagues, friends, people they've helped -- and reading their attorneys' pre-sentencing memos, pages detailing what these men contributed to the legal profession, and to their communities, before they fell.
Both were still sentenced to prison.
All that time and work invested in law school, all that effort to make it in a profession that's singularly hard to make money in -- but they had already been successful before they took the relatively small illegal payoff that landed them in prison. They had accomplished, they had achieved some prestige and status -- in a culture that singularly values accomplishment and status.
All that is gone.
And I can't guess why they did it. One of them spent the money to pay off debts and take trips to Fiji and India -- that didn't seem to be money taken for desperate purposes: there was no sick child who needed extensive, expensive care, no aging parent-with-Alzheimers that needed to be cared for.
See, the judgment is creeping in. And they will face this kind of criticism for the rest of their lives. My hope is that they do feel the pull of gravity keeping them in this world, despite their tremendous self-inflicted loss.
And I hope they find a way to rebuild lives that, for whatever reason, they tore apart.
Today's fragrance: Barbatia is Right! In an Agent Provocateur/Coriandre sidebyside comparison, the fragrances are darn close! To my nose, a slight fennel/anise undertone to the Coriandre, and a rose geranium tinge to the Agent Provocateur ... but darn close! Especially when you consider Coriandre is so available and inexpensive ... and AP isn't!