Posted January 16, 2014 04:18 pm - Updated January 16, 2014 04:35 pm

Shame on me

Markel Owens

When news of Markel Owens' passing spread this morning, I immediately expected it was caused by a poor choice the 21-year-old college student made.

Without knowing any details past his death, in my mind, I was immediately convinced it was something that could have been avoided had Owens made a better decision. 

Shame on me. 

What's worse is I probably wasn't the only one to pass judgement so quickly. Shame on all of us.

In reality, this man died defending his mother, who survived the incident, and helping his step-father, who was also killed, when two armed, masked criminals forced their way into the home. 

In his last moments, Owens did something honorable. Something brave. Something courageous. He responded the way most of us hope we would, but only few could.

Whenever a young person is killed, most of us are quick to jump to conclusions, which is usually the worst possible circumstance. I am among us. In the aftermath of Owens' death, I hope I am slower to judge, and quicker to hope there are more men and women like Owens.