“Not Guilty”

by Dr. Larry Morris

Karl Menninger, the great psychiatrist, was once walking with a friend when they came across a crowd of people who were being berated by a fanatic. The man would run back and forth among the crowd, looking each person in the eye, saying, "You're guilty, guilty, guilty." Seeking to avoid a confrontation, Menninger and his friend quickly walked around the group and were proceeding on their way, when the fanatic spotted them, came running up, looked Menninger's friend in the eye and declared, "You're guilty, guilty, guilty." Then the fanatic ran off. Menninger's friend turned to him and said, "How did he know?" We all tend to feel guilty about one thing or another. We've either done too little or too much. we've said the wrong thing or we said the right thing but to the wrong person. Or we said the right thing to the right person but at the wrong time or in the wrong way. It's so easy for us to carry self-blame around with us, that if someone comes running up to us, saying "you're guilty," we think, "how did he know?"