Opinion: Uneasy childhood can portend trouble in adulthood

The front page of your Oct. 20 edition presents a contrast. In the top photo, two Middlebury Union High School soccer team members are laughing, happy together as they carve pumpkins for the Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
At the bottom of the page is a picture of a young man identified as “Prolific burglar gets 13 years to life.”
Later in the article, his attorney states, “Mr. Ritchie has a very troubled past, a very troubled childhood.”
Wouldn’t be surprising to learn that he never had the opportunity to be on a sports team or to be part of a group doing good work in the community.
Mr. Ritchie himself is quoted in the article: “That’s all I know is drugs. I don’t know how to love. I don’t know how to be loved, any of that stuff.”
There are many people in Addison County working hard to offer help to people who can say what Mr. Ritchie has, or feel it, or show behavior rooted in it. But there aren’t any simple fixes.
It’s important to be reminded about the contrasts — such as shown on your recent front page — and to feel uneasy about how potential for a good life can be so limited for some.
Ronnie Chirnoff

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