The Gray Bar Hotel

by Peter Twitchell

I remember the time I went to the courthouse and sat in what I now know to be the main chamber. The attorney told me to be there by 10 a.m. so I made sure I was there at 9:45. But 10 a.m. went by, as did 10:15, 10:30, 10:45 and 10:55.

As I started to walk out the presiding judge exited a side door of the “main” chamber. He graciously told me that my lawyer had called my workplace looking for me. This made me wonder about the numerous other people who probably make the same mistake I did, going to the wrong chamber to wait for their hearing – often after a few flights, cab rides, and hotel stays.

If you think about it, many of us are sitting in the wrong chamber in life. These chambers are many. It may be an imbalanced marriage where there is no trust. In order for a marriage to thrive there must be a 50-50 effort on both sides, each working to make a positive change for him/herself. It may require restructuring behavioral thinking for a marriage to grow. That’s just one room.

Another room is the Gray Bar Hotel, or the jail. I can’t help but notice every time I go and sit in the courtroom how many our of people return to the courtroom time after time. I’m convinced that the jail has revolving doors for many of our people. Our people break a law, get put in jail, serve their time, and then are back in jail again.

The cycle repeats itself. It’s no wonder that the police, the jail, the district attorney, and public defender, and the people of the court have their work cut out for them.

Sometimes a person has to make drastic changes to stop the cycle. There will always be a jail, but whether or not you are a repeat guest is up to you. Going to jail is the saddest experience because the person going to jail time after time isn’t happy with himself. Making incredible changes in our lives starts with us.

Clear away the wreckage of the past, but don’t throw yourself away along with it. Give yourself a chance to renew your old self. Become self-responsible – take responsibility for your own behavior. Remember, the response in any situation is up to us and the consequences of our actions determine our future.