A couple of weeks ago I was driving down Fifth Street West in Sonoma and all of a sudden a thought came to me and I pictured someone damaging concrete at my construction site. I drove over and sure enough, three kids were carving their names in the sidewalk. I stopped in the middle of the street. They ran. I detained the last kid and held on to him. He said, “I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want to get in trouble.” I told him to relax.
I asked for the names of the two other guys and he gave them to me. I called the police and had those two arrested.
The kid, Lyle, and I talked for a while. He said he hasn’t seen his father in eight years. He and his mom live with his grandmother because they can’t afford to live on their own. He had tears in his eyes.
I gave him my card and said, “Maybe that’s the reason I drove down here and the reason your friends damaged my concrete. I’d like to try and make a difference in your life. Call me and I’ll try to help you.”
Sure enough, Lyle took me up on the offer and now we get together for coffee, send text messages and talk almost every day.
During one of our many conversations, I told him something my father told me. “Before you do anything in life, say to yourself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen from this?’ And if you don’t like that, don’t do it.”