I wrote this to my father about two years ago. I think it makes things pretty clear.
“I know you wonder sometimes why I work with the kids I do, and why I am so drawn to the populations that I am. [This] is why. Some see them as lost causes, and some of them may be. But the way to protect the innocent is not only to tell them to “make good choices” and “not go into dangerous areas,” but to decrease the number or perpetrators as well. More often than not, those perpetrators were first innocent victims. My hope is to reach some of them before they transform from victim to criminal, before they do something they can’t take back, and help them transform that pain and those wounds into something positive rather than something that will ruin their lives, their families lives, and innocent strangers’ lives.
It’s going to be a tough job, and I may not make it for very long before I burn out, but I am going to try to reach as many as I can while I still have the time, the energy, and the burning passion… And then perhaps I’ll move on to working with a population that is a bit less intense… But they all need our help. I want to help the ones who so many others have already written off.”
That is a little piece of my dharma.