Not so criminal criminals

By Maegan Clearwood

Today, it seems being a criminal is, well, hardly criminal at all.

Perhaps it’s the ongoing good-Samaritan debate between the presidential candidates that’s inspiring even the most unlikeable of characters to have a change of heart. Maybe the gradually declining economy is sparking good spirits among peoples everywhere. It could be the fear of national infamy, ignited from the recently uncovered coke-sniffing priest controversy.

Regardless of the reason, criminals across the nation are making the news through being ironically kind-hearted.

The first of these incidents took many for a spin. On Sept. 24, a Wisconsin man shocked an officer, and eventually a nation, in his positive feedback after being pulled over for drunk driving. Instead of brutally spitting out vulgarities or whimpering excuses, David Hyland expressed his sincere thanks.

That’s right, he said “thank you.”

More specifically, he thanked the officer “very much for everything you’ve done for me.” He later admitted that he’d made a mistake, and genuinely expressed deep regret for his actions.

And the surprises don’t stop there.

A mere five days later, a man in Iowa was convicted of a very unusual charge. He, after deciding that a police officer looked like he “needed a hug,” walked up to him with his arms outstretched. He embraced the officer after being told otherwise, and was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer and public intoxication.

Most recently, a 62-year-old man from Illinois gave into his nagging conscience. After 50 years, Tom Haney returned a plaque that he and his friends stole from a tree as part of a Halloween prank. /

These three crimes prove some outlandish images; a man embracing an officer in mid-warning, a drunk driver repenting for his actions, and a grown man walking up the steps of a mansion to admit his wrongdoings to its owner are all reasons to reconsider one’s own conscience.

If anyone, when faced with severe consequences, can go out of his way to make up for his actions, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

You, my loyal readers, are probably not the type to be pulled over for drunk driving, or arrested for assaulting a police officer. All of us, however, in less-significant ways, have made our share of mistakes.

I am, despite the rumors stating otherwise, far from perfect. I have a particularly nasty habit of venting my irritations through writing, specifically in article or blog formats. I’ve been known to, on occasion, go a little overboard when it comes to deadlines, and can be particularly irksome in my grammatical perfectionism habits.

After hearing of these startling repentances, however, have made a resolution; starting the moment this blog is uploaded for all of the Middletown High School student body to read, shall change my attitude in all aspects of my life.

This may mean going out of my way not to complain over the obscene amount of homework I have been granted lately. Even if the only reason I’m awake during the school day is the vat of caffeine I ingested that morning, I shall resist the temptation to outwardly express my frustrations.

When debates among my peers break out at lunch, I will keep my integrity, and refuse to participate, even when my political opinions are trampled on.

I will not laugh, or even giggle, at the clumsy antics made by those ridiculous looking fools on Youtube. No matter the urge, I will turn my amusement into sympathy for the ignorant people who display their idiocies online for the world to see.

Yes, these occurrences of late have inspired me. You could call my newfound martyrdom a type of New Year’s resolution.

I hope I will give up on following through with it as soon as I did last New Year’s.