Good In An Unexpected Place

It’s difficult not to be shaken by the story of those we now call the Central Park Five, of the injustice of being accused of a crime you didn’t commit, of what led to it and of what compounded it. And yet in that story there is good in an unexpected place. It comes through Matias Reyes, the actual perpetrator of the crime, and apparently other such crimes. Reyes seems as criminal as they come, and yet at the Auburn Correctional Facility he meets one of the defendants, Khary Wise, and comes forward to confess because he said he is struck by Wise’s suffering. It’s easy to forget that people like Reyes have good in them, and even more that that good can prevail. It may not have kept him from committing crimes, but it did make him take responsibility for one he hadn’t yet been accused of, and it did make him come to the aid of a fellow prisoner, and in this case four others. As distressing and unsettling as the story of The Central Park Five is, Matias Reyes makes me feel hopeful. If someone like him can exercise what had to have been a seed of innate good, then it may be that good is something we need to learn how to nurture and bring out.