Meeting up recently with someone I knew well in my teenage years, we spent some time thinking of folks we knew from the days when we were part of the same social circle.

I was able to tell of the time in recent years that I returned to the university campus where we first met. I described the architectural features that remained intact from our student days, as well as some new developments that my pal was unaware of.

When I was reminded of the precise way to spell this colleague’s surname, my memory was jogged into thinking about another old associate whose surname is pronounced similarly, but has a slightly different spelling.

In remembering the other person, I morphed into gossip mode. Formerly a tearaway whose name immediately evoked images of countercultural mischief, this person is now a Christian preacher (according to reliable sources).

This revelation was probably the highlight of our encounter. Thinking about the transformation that the preacher went through in order to reinvent himself was a considerable feat in its own right, for both of us. People can change their ways, if they really want to.