“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” -Leo Tolstoy

See that picture? That’s high-tech on Gib Lewis. It’s a maximum security prison where they house offenders with a G-5 status- meaning they aren’t fit for general population. Somehow I was thrown in the mix there after a race riot erupted between Tango Blasts and Bloods on Torres Unit. As I am neither a blood nor am I Blasting it seemed a strange fate that I landed amongst the most violent Texans but such is the way of life; it has a mind of its own.

It’s not exactly odd that a government mandated quarantine would remind me of those days but I find myself getting a bit nostalgic of late. It was inside one of those cells where I first learned to meditate. I took a vow of silence while I was there and spent quite a bit of time looking within and reading up on spirituality. The cosmic seed was planted whether I realized it or not. Now that I have officially started working my way towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion- Christian Counselling- things are coming full circle. I’m remembering the why behind my desire. Sure, it took another 13 years, a new TDCJ number, a dead girlfriend and the legal loss of three children to wake up to the Divine presence within but here we are. I made a deal with God and I have every intention of keeping it.

It’s the convict struggling to reintegrate back into society who I intend to reach. The addict that can’t seem to pull away from drugs long enough to catch a break. Those convicts could benefit greatly from my experience. The junkie nodded off with a needle in their arm can draw inspiration from my struggles. Sure, there’s a bit of that wisely selfish Dalai Llama talk I’m so fond of throwing around but such is the 12 stepper way. I can’t wait to see the light go off in the minds of others when they realize being selfless is the key to lasting peace and harmony.

The lesson my life stands to teach is simple: there’s no such thing as a lost cause. Holding true to King Solomon’s wisdom- nothing is new under the sun- someone else has already coined a phrase that fits my sentiment.

T.S. Eliot once said, “If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.”

Relapse spells death for the addict. Recidivism spells life in prison for the convict. Their children will grow up fatherless thus perpetuating a cycle of misery that could span across generations. Someone has to reach out to that facet of society and guide them. However, there are few who are willing that actually can, birds of a feather and what not.

This mentality has filled my life with meaning by giving me a purpose and direction. “Make me a channel of thy peace.” Sometimes all we need is a reason to be and I genuinely believe I’ve found mine. I hope this inspires others to strive to do better. If a convicted drug dealer can turn his will and his life over than anyone can. It’s never too late. Trust me.

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