In my past, I had a hard time making decisions. The decisions I did make led me to a life of crime. Honestly, I blamed other people and circumstances, but the bottom line was “I” made the choices that led me down that destructive path.
Yes, there were “factors” that played into my decision-making, but I still made the wrong choices that led me to go to prison.
The power of choice is amazing. For years, I was “blind” to my own actions. It was easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility. I never stopped and thought about the consequences or how my choices would affect others. Today, I can honestly say I have changed. I have for years actually but acknowledging this to myself and to others gives me the confidence to move forward, and to never look back.
Yes, there are men and women locked up for a crime or crimes they did not commit so this does not apply to them. I hope they receive the justice they deserve because there are other forces in this world that falsely accuse, abuse their power, and convict people wrongfully. How they can live with their choices is beyond me, but let me move forward…
The moment I took responsibility was just the first step. Change takes time. I started to take inventory of my life and the decisions I had made. I had to forgive myself. I had to be honest, and then I had to make amends. You see if I didn’t take these steps then I would be the same man I was back then, and no one would want that…not even myself.
We talk about prison reform. Personal reform has to take place as well in the individual lives of each man and woman incarcerated within prison walls. If one makes positive changes in their own lives, then they will never have to face incarceration again.
Here was an old motto of mine…”If one can choose to do wrong, then one can choose to right.” I stand by this. I live this daily. Prison broke me. It made me realize I could never hate something so much in my life. It also was a place where I buried the old Brian. He is long gone.
This is not to say that life is always easy. I am an ex-felon, yes, but it does not define me for who I really am today. Yes, there are barriers in my life, but I choose not to let them hinder my progress in my life. I encourage each and every person to make the choice today. Do you want to make a change? Then change. Make the choice. It is yours alone. Be a mentor to someone on the inside. Connect with people on the outside. Let them help you along the way. It is okay to ask for help.
My choices led me to crime and believe me, it is a choice. One doesn’t have to commit crimes. If they choose to then prepare to face the consequences. We all know what they are in the end. Choose to right and you never have to deal with that horrible system again. Choice is a beautiful thing if we allow it to be.