It happened to me just the other day: coming out of the store, walking quickly through the chilling drizzle, I came upon a young mother struggling with 3 unruly children and a cart overflowing with groceries. Fighting my first instinct, I approached the woman, and offered my help, as others dashed by in the rain without a second glance. She opened the back of her SUV, and by the time she'd gotten her children loaded and strapped into their various car seats, I had most of her groceries loaded in the back. She flashed a quick smile of gratitude, and offered a few dollars as thanks, which I declined.
Never once did she ask me if I was a Sex Offender.
Every time I go to the store, someone asks me to get something off of the top shelf for them. They never ask if I'm a Sex Offender first. I doubt it even crosses their mind. They simply see someone who can solve their problem: an unreachable item, and someone to get it for them.
I often wonder what would happen if, in response to a request for help, I instead identified myself as a Sex Offender. Would they still accept my retrieving of that unreachable item? Would they let me load their groceries in the rain, so they could tend to their children? Or, would they run screaming?
Of course, I know the answer.
Consider though: I hold certifications in First Aid and CPR. I've been first on scene to various auto accidents, some minor, some with severe injuries and death. I know what it's like to perform chest compressions - those who have done it will understand when I talk about the feeling that classes and training doesn't prepare you for. The utter and complete exhaustion that sets in after just a few minutes of fighting to keep someone alive. It sounds like bragging, but I know that there are people walking around today because I was there to help them. Sadly, there is one person whom I was unable to save - but that is a different story for another time.
If you were choking, or your loved one were having a heart attack, I think that you'd want me or someone like me there to help. And I doubt that you'd take the time to check the online registry or ask if I was a Sex Offender. What you would do is ask me for help.
And if I'm good enough to help save your life, shouldn't I be good enough to live down the street from you? Good enough to hire? Or do I still deserve to be locked away or dropped on an island somewhere to die?