Prison saved my life
25 years ago I was facing 10-30 years in prison. For some reading this that’s a lifetime ago,in the end I did 3 years of my life fighting for my freedom. One of the take a ways from my experience was, I always loved to read. Statistics say your average inmate doesn’t know how to read pass a third grade level. If it had not been for my love of reading, I wouldn’t be able to come before you now!
In prison your afforded several things, and one if not thee most important was the Law Library! It allowed me to obtain the freedom I was seeking. So as I reflect on my “journey in the belly of the beast. Now half man half gladiator and from the cold concrete and bars of the cages all beast.” I often think about my fellow comrades, who as a statistic won’t be afforded the same opportunities as me. Because they couldn’t read, this is where my journey and mission begins! Because I’m a anomaly rare in fact in the very hood I come from, makes for the perfect opportunity to reach back to help change lives.
Before my story can begin with assisting others with their transformation, I had to conclude mines with an apology, acknowledgement and atonement. An apology to those I’ve hurt and offended, an apology to myself along with forgiving myself for the life my choices created. Acknowledgement, being the first of all three would come initially to begin this very process, acknowledging I’ve done some egregious behaviors and needed atoning which I did.
Check out some of the feedback I received at the Macon Transitional Center, here in Macon, Ga. As the guest speaker I was really moved by the reception by the gentlemen I spoke too as we engaged one another regarding growth and transformation…..
“I like that part what you said about loving yourself, I’m trying to learn how to love myself. Because people who love themselves don’t stick needles into their arms.,.. I always been afraid of success”
54 year old
“I like what you said about influences and your five friends,.” Someone once told me show me who your friends are, and I’ll show you, you.”
38 year old
“I been through a lot in my life my mamma gave me away at three years old. All my life people told me I will amount to nothing I will be just like my dad in and out of jail. I heard this so much I began believing it, it lead me out into the streets to the gangs, I didn’t shoot or kill anyone but I got sent to prison,if I would have just listen to my girl I would have never ended up in here. I had to learn that lesson the hard way of the streets don’t love no body, after spending these 12yrs in prison and not hear from any of my so call buddies. I have a daughter I never knew, and when i finally seen her she jumped up into my arms that made me want to change my life and be there for her and forget the game.
I never knew how to pay a bill, or ever have a job and this program is an opportunity to be somebody with a brand new start. If I have to work at Burger king flip burgers, I’ll do that,so I can be a better man,husband, father or whatever. I appreciate you too for coming here, and I try to be a role model now to my roommate and I’m gonna complete this program I wanna change and with this new start I want to be a successful person and maybe be like you one day.”
35 year old
What could you accomplish if you woke up everyday inspired, focused and connected to your purpose?
I hope you guys can join me and my very special guest Shaka Senghor, July 8th 3:00 pm est. on Young Men’s Perspective Magazine! He shares his experiences and life journey regarding his transformation with us during this segment “Why your worst deeds don’t define you”
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