Dear Ezra and Lian,
I’ve crossed a lot of country borders in my life. Every time one does that is an opportunity to make money by smuggling. Long ago, I vowed to God not to do that. In particular, since I have brought medical supplies, food, clothes, and educational material to people it provided me with those opportunities. I never have taken advantage.
A friend of your Mom’s was really young to be the Chief Magistrate in Aizawl. Michael was getting death threats because he was trying to perform his duties properly and wouldn’t take bribes. He asked me to send or bring a really good handgun to him. He wanted it for protection. It was tempting to help him out, but I had vowed I would never cross that line. He needed the protection, but he had to get protection from someone other than me.
Last year, Michael died. He was killed by a gun. It may have been an accident or even a murder, but quite possibly it was a suicide. When it happened, it really made me question if I made the right choice. I wondered if I could have done something to prevent it. I realized, there wasn’t anything I could have done. One thing though, I don’t have to live with the guilt that I was responsible for him dying. I never put a gun in his hands. He had got it from someone else. He may used it to end his own life. Since I’m not a weapons smuggler, I can say he never got it from me.
Our “friends” may ask us for things or to do things for them. They may ask us to help or join them. We may want them to like us. We love them, so we want to make them happy. Quite often, if we truly love someone though, we tell them, “NO!” You need to practice that answer over and over. Know when you are going to say it. You will be surprised when you need to say “No”. It may break your heart, but a lifetime of regret is no way to live.