Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Debra Beasley Lafave

Some things like the meaning of life I do not believe have one universal definition. People need to find their own meaning. Conversely, things like success and failure can only be defined on an individual basis. Whatever you set out to do, whether it's something big like becoming a famous actor or just to be good parent, if you succeed then you are successful. However if you set out to be a good wife and study hard to become a school teacher and obtain those goals only to throw it all away, well then you become another name on the Not Everyone In Life Is Going To Be Successful list.

Meet Debra Beasley Lafave. Most people know her story as it drew national attention for having sex with a 14 year old student. She certainly wasn't the first person to get caught doing that but she certainly was very photogenic. At the time of her arrest she had been married 11 months. Maybe the marriage wasn't as good as her husband has described it and maybe she didn't even like being a teacher. Many people set down a path on a journey only to find out they don't like where that road takes them. Maybe Mrs. Lavave found herself trapped in a world she didn't know how to get out of. People's expectations of you are a very oppressing thing and maybe in a strange way this inappropriate behavior was her way of rebelling against that. Or maybe she just simply suffered from the same evil demons that all people on this list suffer from in their many different manifestations. Some people just aren't going to be successful in life; in the end it doesn't matter why.

Len Bias

This entry for some reason just popped into my head last night. I was relatively young when it occurred on June 19, 1986 and thus then didn't pay much attention to the story. At that age one usually doesn't comprehend what "serious consequences" mean. Anyway this entry is for Len Bias, the great basketball player who died from a cocaine overdose at the age of 22 just two days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics.

How great was Len Bias? Well this about sums it up:

"This is my 24th year at Duke," says coach Mike Krzyzewski, "and in that time there have been two opposing players who have really stood out: Michael Jordan and Len Bias. Len was an amazing athlete with great competitiveness. My feeling is that he would have been one of the top players in the NBA. He created things. People associate the term `playmaking' with point guards. But I consider a playmaker as someone who can do things others can't, the way Jordan did. Bias was like that. He could invent ways to score, and there was nothing you could do about it. No matter how you defended him, he could make a play."

I somewhat feel bad adding Mr. Bias here since he certainly was on is way to being very successful. His success, and more importantly his life, weren't wiped out from a long history of recklessness nor inner demons like the good Rabbi above suffered from, rather it was wiped out by one foolish act. From all accounts he wasn't a heavy drug user. Yet Mr. Bias didn't die or have his talent wasted by something beyond his control like a car accident. He wasn't struck by lighting, nor was he killed randomly; no he chose to smoke cocaine. Len Bias died by his own hand and thus unfortunately is another sad example that Not Everyone In Life Is Going To Be Successful. May he rest in peace.

Rabbi David Kaye

I am ready to add the next inductee. There are many that I have wanted to add but I'm kind of lazy. I guess you could say that this is the one thing that I am successful at. Besides I was thinking, most of the people I want to add are those that are in the public arena one way or another. But what is really more important to me is the many, many people out there who are unknown. How many people are out there who have unbelievable talent at something, yet for one reason or another are now the local plumber (no offense to plumbers) or some alcoholic on the street that people step over? What's more, how many even more are there who like me don't have "unbelievable talent" at something yet for one reason or another don't live up to their potential? I'm rambling.
Anyway the next inductee is Rabbi David Kaye. I'm sure many of you saw Dateline's
To Catch A Predator story about on line predators. The whole story was fascinating and from that story, actually it is a series, I could add many of those filmed to the Not Everyone in Life is Going to Be Successful list. There were teachers, an emergency room doctor, a federal cop to name a few. All of them have had their life cave in but the one that stuck in my mind the most was the Rabbi pictured below. You can see the video on this page . Go down to "Part three: More shocking than the number of men "Dateline" met, is who they are."

You can see as the Rabbi comes swaggering in like he owns the place for his tryst with an underage boy. I mean he was cool as a cucumber.When the reporter came around the corner however he froze up. The Rabbi thought that the reporter was a cop so he was panicking but not freaking out. No, the freaking out part came when the reporter announced who he was and the cameramen came out of the shadows. You want to see what a man looks like when he realizes that he has just ruined his whole life? Because that's exactly what was on that Rabbi's face.
Well Rabbi, don't fret too much. If it's any solace to you, you aren't the first, nor the last, to realize that Not Everyone In Life Is Going To Be Successful.

Maurice Clarett

Well here and now I'd like to induct the first member to the Not Everyone In Life Is Going To Be Successful. I read about him in U.S. News & World Report the other day (January 16, 2006 issue) His name is Maurice Clarett and he was a star college football player who as the report puts it was "Just three years ago... was on top of the world". However from there on things went down hill.He got suspended for filing a false police report and accepting impermissible benefits from a family friend and then dropped out of school. I guess he did eventually get drafted by the Denver Broncos but was cut. Below is a picture of him after a recent arrest on aggravated-robbery charges:

When you get out Maurice you can write me. You are officially in the NOT EVERYON IN LIFE IS GOING TO BE SUCCESSFULL club. Welcome aboard.