Good Criminal Bad Criminal


Anyone who grows up with some privilege ends up learning some form of accepted morals. Somewhere in that set of morals and guidelines are clear-cut rules on good and evil. Because, in contrast to laws,  most rules and mores tend to be vague, there often are numerous sweeping generalizations made toward crime. But what if a life of crime is the only thing that can feed, clothe and shelter you?

Recently, I’ve been watching Better Call Saul, the spinoff to Breaking Bad. Both of the protagonists in these shows eventually settle into criminality that inevitably affords them their own American dreams. Of course, neither James McGill nor Walter White needs to support themselves with a life of crime.  James is adept at assessing and exploiting weaknesses to a point that it’s the easiest way for him to achieve his goals, while Walt is initially desperate to save himself from cancer and pay off his bills.

What if, much like James McGill, your strength comes in the form of finding and exploiting weaknesses. Much of what he gets up to and many of the things similar people would get up to are morally dubious. Alternatively, if those abilities are your calling, then why ignore them?

Given that Better Call Saul deals with lawyers, it isn’t lost on the viewers that there are tangible ways to find and exploit weaknesses that are legal and lucrative. Unfortunately, becoming an attorney is not possible for everyone. Furthermore, doing something that is legal but necessarily nefarious won’t stop your guilty conscience.

So what would you do if your abilities endear you to seedier parts of life, and what happens if that life riddles you with guilt? Do you sit quiet, give up on your potential, and live a regular life? Would that regular life make you happy? All you can do is assess your own life and give chase.

In the wise words of Richard Feynman, the first rule is that you must not fool yourself and that you are the easiest to fool. Good luck.



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