Phyllis Law - May 2019 | 404.514.3397

Protecting Bright Futures

MAY 2019

Bright Futures Bulletin

April Showers BringMay Flowers

“April showers bring may flowers.” We all know the poem references good things to follow bad, but do we really embrace the proverb in the face of adversity? Most do not. Instead, we tend to be too hard on ourselves. I was 40 years old before I really understood that mistakes are opportunities for growth. Every time I got a bad grade, lost a tennis match, or disappointed my parents, I felt enormous guilt and disappointment in myself. I viewed failure as a character flaw. I valued perfectionism. I realize now that I was reluctant to try new things because I feared failure. Who knows where I’d be now if I hadn’t taken myself so seriously all those years? I still believe we must all be accountable for our actions. Every action has a consequence, and that is something we must accept. But it is not necessary to punish ourselves beyond the natural consequence. Instead, we should be quick to learn from our mistakes; deal with the consequences; and move on with life, armed with our new knowledge to do better. This perception of failure is not a license to slack off and coast through life. It’s quite the opposite. It’s an opportunity to reach for the stars, knowing and accepting that you will fall short many times but realizing that the attempt is the victory. At, we are in the business of protecting people who make mistakes. We manage the consequences of bad choices and help people move past their mistakes onto something better. Many of our clients are young adults and teenagers whose brains are not yet fully developed and are particularly susceptible to making poor decisions.

Often for our clients, part of living with the consequences involves several steps in exchange for dismissal of the charges. Some clients complete a diversion program whereby they receive education and/or treatment for substance abuse or other harmful behaviors; others complete community service. We believe the consequences of getting arrested, hiring a lawyer, coming to court multiples times, and completing diversion terms are enough punishment for first-time offenders. When we prevent criminal convictions, our clients have a much better chance of success in their future. Everyone deserves to earn that second chance. • Hollywood actor and producer Bradley Cooper was arrested at age 15 for underage drinking. • NBA player Caron Butler was arrested 15 times as a juvenile. • Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was arrested at age 19 for underage drinking and DUI. • Pro wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was arrested eight times before age 16. • Bill Gates was arrested at 19 for speeding and driving without a license. We all face failure. The important thing is what we choose to do about it. Follow the advice of the late great Johnny Cash (arrested seven times): “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of life. Even highly successful people. Consider the following:

At, we are in the business of protecting people

who make mistakes. ”

–Phyllis Gingrey Collins

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