Russ Nelson, owner of Family Shooter's Corral in Eaton Rapids is fond of telling young shooters a story to drive home the concept of "guilt by association".
Russ was growing a particularly excellent strain of sweet corn one year and he knew he was going to have issues with raccoons. One evening, just as the first flight of corn was about to ripen, he and his bride were sitting on the back deck enjoying their evening coffee.
Russ saw a line of raccoons, mama and cubs, making their way toward his corn patch.
As luck would have it (actually, luck had nothing to do with it) Russ had a scoped, .22 WMR long-gun available. He waited until they were in the open and he proceeded to do what he does very well, put lead on the target.
Collecting the deceased, he found eight bodies when there had only been seven raccoons heading toward his corn. During the moment of truth, a rabbit had been heading toward the garden at the same time as the raccoons.
At this point in the story, Russ would pause. Then he would say something to the effect that when push-comes-to-shove that you will be judged by the people you associate with. It might be right. It might be wrong. It can be final.
I pity the young
In some ways I pity the young.
We had time to play around with ideas and associations.
We could try-on various "tribes" for size and see how they "felt".
If/when shit gets real, the tribe they are plugged into is the tribe they will be judged with.
I pity the old
We are too likely to assume that people who share superficial characteristics with us also share our values.
Be on guard.
Too hard to hold
The two hardest things to hold weigh nothing: Our breath and grudges.
Some folks are "energized" by grudges and presumed wrongs. They are sadly mistaken. Those grudges are maintained at a high, but hidden price.
In general, I don't hold grudges. My memory is not that good and I am lazy. Other people might hold different opinions regarding my zeal for holding grudges.