I recently came across an article in which a person truly made light of a bad situation. Josh Sundquist lost a leg due to cancer at the age of 10. After becoming cancer-free at the age of 13, he moved forward with his life in a dramatic way and represented the U.S. in the Paralympics in skiing in 2006. The reason he received more publicity recently is due to his unique sense of humor as displayed in his Halloween costume.
For those people that happen to live in a cave and have never watched the Christmas classic "A Christmas Story," you may not find this photo amusing. For those that have watched the movie, or at least portions thereof, as it runs for 24 hours on Christmas Day, this is hilarious. The father's treasured lamp. Josh turned a tragedy into something funny with his unique sense of humor by making the best of a bad situation.
Moving Forward From A Criminal Conviction
As I have been a State College criminal defense attorney since 2004, I have represented thousands of people, including Penn State students and licensed professionals, and some of those clients ended up with a criminal record. In general, I believe that most of the people that I have dealt with over the years are good people that have simply made some bad decisions. While some of my better clients have repeatedly made poor decisions, (including getting two DUIs in the same evening), many learn from their mistakes and become contributing members of society. In my opinion, we are somewhat beyond the days of the Scarlet Letter in which a person's bad decisions automatically brand them for life.
Some clients are able to avoid convictions by participating in first time offender programs like ARD, but others clients are required to pick up the pieces and move forward with convictions on their records. I encourage my client to try and make the best of a bad situation, accept it as it is, but move forward in a positive manner. You cannot change what was done, but you can change yourself moving forward. In many cases, it is possible to advance in life with a criminal record. It might take more work, but it can be done. I can now use Josh Sundquist as a positive example of turning a tragedy into a positive.