Last night I watched the old Film Noir, Dillinger, which portrayed him as an intelligent, but very violent man, with a complete disregard for human life. Wikipedia portrays him as a little less violent.
But I found myself asking, why does a man end up on such a course of violent crime?
Reading over the brief summary of his childhood, I found nothing unusual that hundreds of other boys of the era didn't also experience. I don't believe in a genetic predisposition to crime.
I come back to my old belief: It's about the choices we make. Once we set off on a course, oriented by an initial choice, the next choice is somewhat predetermined by the first. I don't mean that we lose free will because of our choices, but that our choices often tend to give a certain weight to the next choice and series of choices. Sometimes it becomes really difficult to break out of a pattern or habit.
This is why it is so important for parents to help their children form good habits and make good choices. This is why it is so important to repent immediately of our sins, and to pray for guidance and grace, especially when trying to form choices. This is why it is so important to be wary of types of companions and other occasions of sin.
Something to think about.