I, along with many others, have been captivated by the recent Netflix documentary series about Ted Bundy. It’s fascinating to learn about what type of person could do such horrible things and why they are the way they are. I think most people would like to be able to put someone in a neat little box and say “this is why they are this way”, but the documentary is pretty good proof that that’s not always the way it works. Ted Bundy was charming, attractive, and generally well-like, which goes against a certain stereotype society has about serial killers. We don’t want to believe that someone who could commit horrible murders can also disguise themselves well enough to blend into normal society, but the frightening truth is that they can.
But what struck me even more than that is how some people near the end of the documentary talked about how he could have easily made some different choices and made a very good life for himself, but went down the wrong path instead. We hear about people all the time who go through horrific things but make choices that enable them to turn their lives around. I was bullied and tormented my entire childhood and adolescent years for having Tourette Syndrome; it was miserable and would have been very easy for me to become a bully in return, or to drown out my sorrows with alcohol or other substances, but I made a very conscious choice that I didn’t want to waste my life away. I knew there was something good inside me that those people couldn’t see, and I needed to give myself a chance to let that show. I had to make the choice, despite everything else, that I was going to take the high road. Ted Bundy chose a different path, as have many others.
We all seem to know at least one person who could have had a much better life with even a few different choices. There come key times in our lives when we are being challenged, and one bad decision can change the whole course of our lives. Some people come up with countless excused to explain their poor behavior, but what is boils down to is that all of us have choices, even if we don’t think we do. Sometimes our lives may be one bad choice away from a completely different life. Be aware, and live your life with purpose so it doesn’t live you.