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I guess I'm confused

There is great ire in the universe, yet again because of Michael Vick.

This probably deserves a long, thoughtful, developed post, but my "annoyed" button has been pushed, and so here it is.

Either people grow and change, or they do not.

Either we believe people can grow and change, or we do not.

If we don't believe people can grow and change, then we need to punish people, every second of every day, for every bad thing they ever did from the time they were old enough to know that what they were doing was something others thought they shouldn't do. We should give up on the total notion of "second chances," "rehabilitation," or intellectual and moral development.

If we do believe that people can grow and change, then we need to present as role models both those who have always "been good" and those who pay for their mistakes and then move forward to lead lives of value and grace. The one is an ideal to strive for, the other is a promise that a mistake can be overcome. Everyone, particularly children, need to know that a mistake, no matter how horrifying, doesn't have to mean you can't become someone of value and benefit to others, and it is right of corporations to valorize both--the saintly and the redeemed.