The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

July 28, 2013

John Boel and why to give people second chances

RICHMOND — “Gimmie, Gimmie just one more chance.”  -Exile

Last week, Louisville television anchor John Boel was nominated for regional Emmys in four categories.

He won them all.

Before November of 2010, Boel had won 70 Emmy awards in a 25-year career as a television anchor and reporter.

But after his second DUI, John was “On the News, In the News” which became the title of his autobiographical book.

When I met him at the Kentucky Book Fair, he had been unemployed for more than a year.

He also had been sober for most of that time and a regular at recovery meetings.

After spending the day with him and his wife Brenda at the table next to mine, I went home and wrote a Huffington Post column about him and his book that night.

It was perfect timing. A lot of influential people in Louisville, like WHAS radio personality Terry Meiners, were helping John and a couple of months later, WAVE3 gave John a second chance.

The Emmys tell the rest of the story.

There are two schools of thought about forgiveness. One is articulated by Jesus, who said to turn the other cheek. The other is articulated by the fictional character The Godfather, who believed that all wrongs must be avenged.

Most of us live somewhere in the middle. If you are like me, there are some people I forgive and others where I tend to hold grudges. I'd like to be more like Jesus, but realize like the Godfather that if I forgive everyone for every reason, people would walk all over me.

However, God gave me a unique talent. I'm good at picking out people who will make the most of a second chance. I don't bet on many horses in the comeback category, but find the winners when I do.

Everything about John Boel told me that he would make the most of a second chance.

He is a focused and driven guy who does stuff like compete in Ironman races. I always wonder if John and I would have been friends before he fell off the wagon. Guys like John always seem a little too perfect for a someone like me, whose every ounce of being screams imperfection.

Getting knocked down put John in the same universe I live in. Hoping that the world would overlook his imperfections and see the whole person.

The people at WAVE3 saw the whole picture and gave John a second chance. One that he made the most of.

A lot of well-known people are trying to make comebacks in a public way. Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer are running for office in New York. Tiger Woods is battling back as a golfer and scores of celebrities battle addiction problems in a public way.

Making a comeback is not limited to celebrities. I just helped a young man get admitted to college after he flunked out a few years ago. I've helped a number of people get readmitted into college and will go to any length, including visiting the president of the school, to make it happen.

Almost all of the people have come through on the second chance. Usually with honors.

There are just as many people that I did not choose to help. I'm not sure why I pick one and not pick another. Usually it is a gut feeling about whether a person would appreciate the opportunity.

The movie Donnie Brasco is a wonderful illustration of a parlance of the street and the whole philosophy of giving your “stamp of approval” for a person by “vouching” for them.

If you “vouched” for someone and they did not come through, like in the true story of Donnie Brasco, the consequences could be deadly.

John did not know I had planned on “vouching” for him until he saw the article in print. I think divine providence kicks in, but I knew after the first hour at the Kentucky Book Fair that he would be the subject of my next column.

I suspected that helping to get John in the public eye would help get him back on the air again. I knew I had to try. Being on the television news is a difficult position to obtain and getting a job in a city where you were publicly bounced off the air is nearly impossible. It would have been easy to write John off and forget about him.

On the other hand, a guy with 70 Emmys is a great addition to any news team, anywhere.

Now he has four more to add to his collection.

More importantly, he is a model for why forgiveness, or at least selective forgiveness, can have big-time results.

I figure that if forgiveness was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me too. At least some of the time.

Congratulations John. You have made me proud.

Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • 7-29 Nostalgia-Glenmore.jpg Paper boys learned life, business lessons

    I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
    There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough

    The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 4-H Entries 1.jpg 4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons

    Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • Dr-Jack-Rutherford.jpg Warning labels needed on energy drinks

    The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donna-Moberly.jpg Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2

    Hello everyone.
    I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Katie-Rollins.jpg Thank the Lord for the rain

    Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Paula-Jones-c.jpg Rain has helped lawns, gardens

    Hello from Baldwin.
    How is everyone’s week going? I hope everyone is having a great one.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can you believe such cool weather in mid July?

    Refreshing. That’s the word one TV weatherman described the upcoming days when temperatures will be in the 70s with virtually no humidity and lots of sunshine. Can you believe that in the middle of July? We can live with that, can’t we? We may even get close to setting a record for morning lows later this week. This has certainly been the year for strange weather!

    July 17, 2014

  • Tim-Jones.jpg Union City Baptist VBS July 20-25

    Union City Baptist Church will have vacation Bible school July 20-25, 6 to 9 p.m., with classes from age 3 through high school. The theme is “Agency D3 Needs You.” Contact Brenda Parke, or call the church at 623-2845 for more information.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo