July 25, 2012
After I came to prison, I took a long, hard look at myself. For the first time in my life, I admitted that I was wrong, that I had in fact gone astray, not so much from the law, but from being human and civilized.
I could not approve of the crime that I had committed. Even though I had some insight into my own motivations, I did not feel justified. I lost my self-respect, my pride as a man had dissolved and my whole fragile moral structure shattered.
It is for this reason that I let myself think at a deeper level, searching my soul to save myself. I realized that no one could save me but myself.
The prison authorities are both unable and uninterested in helping. I had to seek the truth and embrace the truth. I have had to unravel the snarled web of my motivations. I had to find out who I was and what I wanted to be. I needed to determine what type of man I should be and what I must do to become the best that I can be.
I understand that what has happened to me has happened to many others and will continue to happen as long as people don’t see the errors of their ways. I learned that I had been taking the easy way out, running away from my problems and obligations. I found that it was easier to do evil than to do good.
So, now I must focus my energies on setting a course for a greater goal—freedom from succumbing to this terrible prison of the mind. I must direct my energy toward the positive, abandoning the negative actions and reactions which are detrimental to reaching my intended goal. This means that I have to swallow my pride and sacrifice my old mindset.
William Shakespeare put it best: “To thy own self be true.” I must first be true to myself. Then and only then can I be true to others. I must focus on the mastery of myself, I must discipline myself to repel the thoughts that lead me to trouble. The past is just the past and the future is yet to be. The present is where I am now.
I must have the courage to do whatever it takes to succeed in whichever endeavors I choose to undertake. There is so much more to life than mere existence—which is the total summation of incarceration within these walls of concrete and steel, unless I choose differently.