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I have no proof but I’m sure at some point Eve warned her sons Cain and Abel that it’s possible to make one mistake in life that no amount of remorse, shame or money can reverse.

Who knew that better than she did?

Moms ever since have done what we could to keep our young ones on the straight and narrow, no matter how much we punish, pray or plead, there’s a chance that they’ll do something that we cannot fix.

Monica Lewinsky made such a mistake. For as long as she lives in this country and maybe even the world, she will be known first as the former White House intern who had an “inappropriate relationship” with President Bill Clinton…and that’s the PG version.

She’s been the butt of the joke for comedians, the hot topic for talk show hosts and included in the lyrics sang by hip-hop artists for the last 19 years.   Unlike most scandals that eventually run their course, Monica Lewinsky has become an iconic figure whose name is synonymous with the act she committed.

In 1999 the words oral sex were not used in the news media, sitcoms, TV and music like they are now.  In fact, thanks to Monica Lewinsky (never Bill Clinton, why is that?) a whole national conversation began about one of the once most private of sexual acts. In Beyonce’s hit song Partition released just this year the lyrics include the following line.

He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse. He Monica Lewinky-ed all on my gown. “

Monica Lewinsky was just 21 when she began the relationship with Bill Clinton that will haunt her the rest of her life.

A wise woman once told me you’re and adult much longer than you’re a child.   Even though Monica was grown in the eyes of the law, the advice applies to her and any young person who doesn’t stop to think of how long they will have to suffer for mistakes made in their youth.

Like most adults who have done something stupid, she can now see so clearly now what she didn’t stop to look at 20 years ago.

Now she’s come forward with a heartfelt plea on behalf of victims of cyber-bullying.  She can relate to them, she says because the notoriety brought to her after her affair with Clinton went public she was left “shattered “ and “wanting to die.”

It’s very easy to continue to joke about Monica Lewinsky and allow her to forever remain the poster child for oral sex.  What’s difficult is to put ourselves in her place and imagine how desperate we’d be for forgiveness and how grateful we’d be if we were allowed a chance to put our pasts behind us.

I don’t think most people are willing to consider it.  So, consider this instead.  If you have children or grandchildren with cell phones there’s a good chance that at some point they will be asked to take a naked photo or be recorded taking part in a sexual situation and it could end up in the wrong hands.  Hell, it might even happen to you. All you have to do is Google some of your favorite female celebrities to see the naked pictures they thought were stored in a secure place.

It’s time to have open, frank, no holds barred conversations about sexting, Snap Chatting, and posting illicit photos on Instagram.  If you think your teens are above it, I hope you’re right, but I would hedge my bets and talk to them about it anyway.

We can all use Monica Lewinsky’s story as a reminder that it could be texting and driving, drinking at a party, having inappropriate relations with someone, playing with a gun, experimenting with drugs, sexting or a list of other things that can change our lives forever. We’re all a step away from taking a wrong turn that could do us in.  It’s less likely to happen if we walk on the right side of the street.

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