From Dr. Larry

Dr. Larry Gelman is fiercely devoted to each client, with a deep and profound respect for their own self-agency and self-determination.

Once A Murderer

“Once a murderer, always a murderer.”

I have pondered these words for years.

Is it really true?

If someone commits a sin, must they, forever, remain a sinner?

We recall King David as “the giant slayer” who became a wise and good ruler.

Yet he coveted his best friend’s wife and killed him to take her as his own.

Was he a great man or a liar, thief and cheat; worse, yet, a murderer?

A young doctor, over-estimating his surgical skill, operates prematurely on his patient and she dies.

The physician learns from his mistake and is scrupulous, thereafter, with all diagnosis and treatment.

He becomes renowned the world-over, but can he ever escape the fact that he caused a reckless death due to his neglect?

Should we view him as a gifted healer and teacher or as a person who caused an irrevocable harm?

“Once a murderer, always a murderer.”

In law, means, motive and opportunity are paramount to establishing probable cause pending a verdict of guilt.

However, reason suggests that not every untoward action is intentional.

Consider driving your vehicle at dusk and a child darts out on the street to fetch a ball and you kill him.

Clearly, there was no motive for you to cause any injury.

A jury finds you “not guilty” but what does that mean in the context of your life.

For as long as you live, you will always know that an action committed by you resulted in a tragic outcome.

I suspect that all of our deeds are indelibly “inscribed in the Book of Life.”

These include doing what we ought to do and not doing what we ought not to do.

Making mistakes is “hardwired” into the human experience.

Sooner or later we will, eventually, “mess-up” and “do wrong.”

Occasionally, the worst will happen as a function of our action or inaction.

The permanent responsibility and accountability of each one of our deeds belongs to each one of us forever.

Certainly, the constructs of forgiveness and pardon may be applicable and heuristic up to a theoretical and practical point.

But it is the end-result of what we do, or fail to, do that matters in-the-end.

A murderer can sincerely atone for their crime and learn to become a “model citizen”.

The victim of the murderer is forever dead and has no further option for hope personal, societal or moral redemption.

I think it actually does matter what one does after the “fall from grace”...

How one comports oneself at all times, in all places and with all others.

No matter what good may arise and obtain from all that is good from one’s good deeds, still...

“Once a murderer, always a murderer.”

Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor


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Dr. Larry B. Gelman, Dr. Glenn B. Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

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