This week I decided to do something new. Usually you hear articles about my opinion or what I am currently going through or experience on a day to day basic. This week I’ve decided to let you hear from someone on the inside. When I mean the inside, yes, I mean prison. This individual is a someone I know and respect very much, he is currently serving 13 years plus three life sentences in prison. In this article he does not mention his name and nor will I, to respect him and his identity I ask that you please reframe from asking me who he is and what he did to serve that much time in prison. Just know that as we sit on the outside wondering what goes on in the inside, that they sit on the inside battling with the decisions that they made and all the thought that go through their mind. Some of you may immediately reframe from listening to what this prisoner has to say but know this, that at one point this individual was on the outside just like us and did you ever once ask them why they do what they did or try to convinced them to change their ways. Now I don’t mean yell at them or speak down to them or inform them that their dumb or stupid, I literally mean love them and show them that there is more to life then what they solely know. Here is Convicted thought by a federal prisoner.
“Are we as a society losing our way?Has the hustle and bustle of the times taken away our humanity and compassion? Am I the only one who is no longer shocked by the tragedies, horrors, and more often not that acts of complete stupidity we see on the news day after day?Sitting here now I can honestly say, that only thing that shocks me is that we have allowed this, or done little to change it. In not a journalist, I don’t have any kind of doctorate or degree attached to my name, in fact, I’m a prisoner.Don’t worry… I’m stuck in a concrete box paying for my own acts of stupidity.Having part of the problem, maybe I can offer insight for a solution.
I’ve spent A LOT of time around prisons from all walks of life and have come to the realization that although inexcusable, most are here for things that might have been prevented if someone had a few kinds words, a voice of reason, a sympathetic ear, or simple acts of humanity and compassion for them. Sadly, it seems that no one has time to care. Life is moving in fast forward.“Get the most done in the least amount of time so that we can do even more in the time we saved.”In this high speed cycle, we’ve forgotten our humanity.We are so distracted by our own lives and ambitions that we don’t recognize a cry for help or see a person in need, or really see a person who feels invisible.
I can’t help but wonder if we as a society could have had a positive effect on the lives of our fellow human’s.Maybe if we had taken a moment to truly listen to them.No just hear them, but really listen to what they are saying.Would our world, our country, our community be a better place?
I know personally what an act of kindness can mean to someone.I’ve had my spirits instantly lifted when a stranger look past the tattooed face and greets me with sincerity.So image if we slow down and take an extra few moments to show others some civility. We may not be able to help everyone we see, but simply acknowledge a person’s presence and treating them with common courtesy, dignity, and respect will work wonders.
So many people today feel unwanted, unaccepted, even lost or invisible.How we treat another human being can change the course of their life.We’ve all heard the stories of young or innocent lives tragically lost because they were psychologically and physically bullied into taking their own lives, even striking back at the world around them.We need to value every single life around us.Validate those lives by acknowledging their presence.We need to become a community again. We can’t let ourselves forget the power of civility and compassion.There is goodness in all of us but it must be nurtured.It’s a small thing to do and it can have an enormous impact.It may be exactly what is needed to change the life of someone who has given up or who feels they must strike back at the world.
It’s hard to know what does through the mind of a person who has stepped into the abyss.I do know what it’s like to be pushed toward that edge.It’s a lonely and desperate feeling.It’s a downward self-destructive spiral that leads to acts of stupidity or worse.We all have the power to change lives. Even the smallest display of kindness cam makes a difference.”
Like I stated in the opening paragraph, are we truly stopping and helping those around us who are in need, or we moving too fast that it then becomes too late.