When your past comes back to haunt…REALLY?

looking up

by Kenneth Justice

~ A few weeks ago at coffee a mid 40ish man who I had talked with in the past sat down at my table. “Kenneth, I never told you this before but up until last year I had been in prison for 10 years

It turns out he was arrested and incarcerated because he used to sell drugs and got caught. “The last year has been tough on me being out…my mother is nearly 90 years and has been letting me live with her…but she’s really one of the only people I have left in my life

Although I spent a few years working at the local county jail, I can’t imagine what it must be like getting out of prison after a decade….all your old friends have likely moved on to different facets of their lives and getting a good job is next-to-impossible.

My parole officer helped me get a place to live and I have a minimum wage job but I feel like I will never escape the sins of my past” he said

For many of us, the little mistakes or failings we made when we were younger helped us to grow and mature into the adults that we are now today. Making mistakes helped us to learn and grow…..but for this guy, making the mistake of selling drugs might end up haunting his life for a long-time to come.

I didn’t have any profound thoughts or pieces of wisdom to share with the guy. He had learned via another acquaintance that I had worked with inmates at the county jail years ago and that was why he had come to me looking to talk…looking for a solution to help deal with all the millions of feelings he is experiencing……

All I could say was, “It looks like you are going to have a long walk ahead of you….but if you can make it past today, maybe you can make it a week, and then a month, and suddenly a year will have gone by and you’re making positive progress forward”

It’s that whole ‘baby steps’ mantra. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just focus on today; get our ‘s**t done today’ and worry about tomorrow when it comes. But I’ll be honest…I don’t think that what I said helped the guy out very much, he left the table looking pretty down.

I’ve had a lot of screw-ups in my past but I’ve never been in jail. I’ve never broke the law and had the entire world know about what I had done. When I was working at the county jail one of the inmates put a letter in the pocket of my jacket (they weren’t allowed to do that) which I found when I got home later that night, he wrote;

Kenneth, I got hooked on pornography when I was younger and by age 18 I was obsessed with younger looking girls. Although I never actually molested a child, I ended up getting arrested in a sting-operation; I thought I was meeting up with a 15 year old but it was actually an under-cover cop

The entire letter was more than five pages long and the inmate shared how his picture was posted on the front page of his local newspaper and that then led to his entire church condemning him for his crime…..none of his family or church members would come and visit him at the jail…..none would return his letters or phone calls.

I’m struggling to still believe in God because how could God let me do the things I’ve done….how could my church that I’ve gone to since I was a kid completely cut me off?” he wrote

I didn’t have any answers for him. Its not like there is some kind of simple thing you can say to people who are in such tough situations; is there? That particular man was in the county jail awaiting sentencing; he didn’t know if he was going to be sent to prison for 1 year or many years……..

Would his church ever forgive him?

Would his family ever forgive him?

I simply don’t know…..sometimes our past comes back to haunt us for many years to come….sometimes the mistakes we make in our youth live with us for years to come. Most of us don’t commit crimes that land us in jail….most of us don’t have to live with our ‘secret sins’ posted on the front page of the newspaper for the whole world to see. Most of us don’t have to go to a job interview wondering if they are going to see that we are an ex-convict and tell us ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

Its been a few years since that inmate ‘smuggled’ that letter in the pocket of my jacket. I can still remember sitting at home in my study reading the letter. Tears were streaming down my face as I read about the dumb choices he made….and how each dumb choice seemed to lead to even worse choices until finally…..he got caught by the undercover cop. I remember crying and wondering “what am I supposed to do for this guy? What can I do?

Most of the time I simply don’t have the answers…..most of the time I’m simply trying to get through the day myself….

Perhaps that is why I’m so fond of my coffee; in the midst of trying to work through another day I have that one constant routine in my life, sitting down and having a steaming hot cup of coffee…helping me to sit down and chill out for a few minutes in the midst of a crazy world.

Kenneth

For those interested in helping out the children of prisoners this Holiday Season…one of the best programs out there can be found via this <link>



Categories: Culture & Society

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71 replies

  1. That is why,always forgive it maybe difficult but it may help us to escape severe punishment for crimes/sins/mistakes we make. Sort of pay in advance. Those who are suffering its unfortunate, it’s such tragedies that makes us realize, our action has repercussions. I made and still do make mistakes, and I pray ,please save me from getting into trouble 🙂

    • “Those who are suffering its unfortunate, it’s such tragedies that makes us realize, our action has repercussions.”

      yup….its tough…especially because if you ask me, 10 years in jail for selling drugs seems overkill….I mean really? Do we really need to be putting a dude in jail for that long? seems like it ends up hurting him more than it helps.

    • True.although criminal has to be punished but nightmare of society’s abuses hurts,why we never trust or can not a jail bird is the reason,agony is endless. A prison seems better than freedom.

    • “A prison seems better than freedom.”

      yea…as sad as this sounds its true; for many people who’ve been in prison a long time…prison can be easier than receiving their freedom..so sad 😦

  2. When I was little my mom said, “Never do anything you don’t want people to find out about. She taught me to live that way. I passed that on to my kids. No one is perfect but things that you want to hide are always bad. I have lived by her words. I might do some stupid and unwise things, but no one could ever blackmail me or threaten me because of something I’ve done…because my mother was right and I knew that, even as a child. My mother was a smart woman.

  3. Wow, this was an incredible blog. My uncle is in prison for life, his third time there, all because of stupid choices. However, a part of me feels sorry for him, and asks why he was so incapable from learning from his mistakes.

    • Yea, my heart goes out to your uncle also….he sounds like the type of people I would talk to when I was working at the jail; people who kept making poor decisions……why are we able to learn from our mistakes but others are not? I dunno…..

  4. Very moving blog post today. I can certainly understand the fear and feelings of having something from your past come back to haunt you. I agree, hitandrun your mother was very smart and your children are lucky that you can pass on your knowledge to them. It’s hard sometimes when you are young and you get caught up in something you don’t understand because that could rip your whole life away from you.

  5. Our past mistakes shape us but never let it define who you want to become in the future.

  6. Excellent message–one that cries out in me every time I want to help but don’t know how. I try to give lots of hugs, if they are appropriate. And, the words I have learned from my husband, but didn’t know meant so much to hear them until the suicide of my husband over 5 years ago, was “I’m so sorry. Is there anything that I can do for you?” That was the only thing that could break through the ice of my shock for that first month, and was the only thing that I heard in all of the condolences that felt genuine.
    I will most definitely look into the link further–thank you for that. Sometimes, even though we can’t help everyone, we can most definitely pray for them, and reaching out, though not perhaps directly to them, is still reaching out to souls in need. Ken, today’s message was truly wonderful, even through the pain it may have taken to write it.
    Blessings and Peace.
    Dana

    • Great example…..I think a lot of people feel that they have to have say something “profound” to someone who is going through tough times….but most of the time just “being there” for them is enough……

  7. One other comment, no matter how we might like our past to disappear, it shapes us—it’s what we do with it that either will teach us to survive and actually use it for a special purpose, or lead us to our own emotional, perhaps physical death. Those that give advice dismissing the past, I don’t mean to be snotty, but I don’t feel truly understand the trauma personally. When one does, then one can empathize, and only then. For those who can’t empathize, please be kind–do not judge them, pray for them, and pray for a heart that wishes to understand first, and then to find a way to help.

  8. On Sunday nights, off and on for about 3 years, I was blessed with the opportunity to have Bible study with the ladies at the Correctional facility. Not only did I get to share hope with my new friends, but the Lord taught me through them that just like these lives I was trying to reach…I am just as valuable.

    I’ve always struggled with self-esteem and begun reaching out because of a requirement I have to meet for a Global University course I am taking. The college wanted their students to put into practice what they were learning instead of hiding behind papers.

    This Month I’ll be attending a class at the correctional facility because I lost my purse which had my access card….it’s been a few months….it will be an awesome time reconnecting with my girls!

    When I first went with a dear friend….it was just like the movies portrayed…doors being buzzed open and slammed (so it seemed) shut, then locked until we were allowed out. But that was the only “real” part based on movies. Every time after was a beautiful Bible Study….people attending to want to be heard, hear some hope…or just “escape” for a moment.

    Also when I began…I always went with someone. But I admired the men from my church who would reach out by themselves….so about a year and a half later……I taught on trusting God…..which was perfect for those who saw I was trusting them.

    I pray more people make time to visit those who need hope ❤

    • Because we incarcerate SO many people here in the U.S. the need is all the more for volunteers to go into the prisons and jails; some volunteer as you do in spiritual/ministry work, others do counseling, others help the inmates get their high school diplomas, and still others help to minister to the children of the prisoners whose mom or dad is locked away in jail.

    • Yes , the need is GREAT … Yet perhaps this small Flame will ignite into a mighty BONFIRE 🙂

  9. I love the look on life in this one.
    But it is not so much that we need to focus on what we can do for what has been done. But help those from making worse decisions. And make sure they do not happen.
    We all know that a jail sentence will be carried with you like a tattoo. But it is our fault to define those who wear it as always being bad. They can change if we give them the help to make the right decisions and not just a parole officer, I mean everybody.. Maybe I am a dreamer but it is nice to dream.
    As for forgiveness. A church has no say in that. A priest cannot do that. If one beliefs they all know there is only one who can forgive. Who are we to judge.

  10. Amen. We can give people the tools….but it is up to God…and the person to receive that forgiveness ❤

  11. The worst part of being a good listener and confidante…wishing we knew the answers, when many times we don’t even have the answers for ourselves…I have many issues to work out in my life, mostly caused by my own mistakes…but right now, I’m going to sit here, drink my tea, and enjoy my morning. The answers will come.

  12. Love your post and writing style….. its like ..feelings come alive while reading ..

  13. you need a piece of pie now and then with your coffee……….

  14. When I was the lead social worker for a shelter in Anchorage, Alaska I worked with a number of felons who had been released from custody. There was a program in Anchorage called New Start that worked with a variety of other programs including the Salvation Army shelter I worked at. Because we had women and children there in addition to two men’s dorms, we were unable to take any sex offender. However, it didn’t stop sexual offenses from happening – there was one child molestation during my years there.

    Some issues are easier to get past than others. Being convicted of child sexual abuse is a big one to get past. And one never knows if the five page letter was accurate or not. That being said, I have a friend whom I believe was wrongfully convicted of a sex offense and whom I refuse to abandon. He’s fortunate that he has a number of friends who believe in him 100%.

    I also have an acquaintance who has probably spent half his life in prison on drug related offenses who has become certified as a forensic substance abuse counselor – he works in prisons now – and he got his support in AA.

    I always encourage people to get involved in 12 step programs as we take care of our own, especially in AA.

    As you and I both know, most of the folks (not all, certainly) actually did the crime. A good 10-15% are innocent of the crime of which they were charged. Now, what to do about the folks there?

    Frankly, our system sucks. There are models overseas which are much better – such as having families stay together. But the don’t have the enormous incarceration rates we do. We need more diversion programs, more counseling, more AA, more access to the spiritual paths of the inmates (Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Jew/Pagan, etc.) and we need to focus on moving first time offenders into some sort of diversion program.

    Once, in Boston, during a rather tough snowstorm I ran into a gentleman who had done a lot of time in prison for some very violent offenses and as we walked and talked (I’m a Westerner, I’ll talk to almost anyone) he became concerned I’d fall and gave me his arm, which I thanked him for. He was suprised an attorney would give him the time of day, but I explained I was a human first – a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, and far at the end of all those things I was a lawyer. I could not help him with his problem, but I hope it helped that I did not judge him. He’d done his time, he was acting like a decent person when I met him. That’s really all we can ask of each other, isn’t it?

    You have such lovely insights. 🙂

  15. Very good post again Kenneth. I read an interesting article recently on the subject, you might be interested in: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/12/03/the-difference-between-criminals-and-non-criminals-getting-caught/

    Given the incarceration rate in this country in addition to the high amount of crime for a country with a good standard of living (comparatively) it seems clear our justice system is lacking. If someone commits a hate crime let’s say towards a gay person, because their parents were prejudiced towards gay people, how much of the blame is on that person? Kids don’t naturally hate people of other races or sexual orientation, this is taught. Yes it’s still a crime, but how much power does that person have to not hate if that’s what he’s been taught? I am not a big proponent of us having absolute free will. Our thinking is shaped by society, by our parents, by our education, and this influences how we make our decisions. To punish someone the rest of their lives when they simply didn’t know any better seems unjust and inhumane. The line between a criminal and non-criminal is often quite blurry to me. Their finding that in many of the most violent criminals, their are abnormalities in the frontal lobe and so much of their behavior is probably genetic and then reinforced by negative experiences through the nurture process. I think we need to start putting our efforts into better rehabilitation and believing in redemption instead of treating ex-cons like outcasts the rest of their lives.

    • Agreed….I feel VERY differently about people arrested for sex crimes (rape, molestation) Than I do about people arrested for drugs……for people who commit rape or mollest little children: i personally believe they should receive the most severe penalty that the law provides….but for people who do drugs: I believe they probably shouldn’t even go to jail because going to prison doesn’t help someone with a drug problem…..the system sucks; I agree

    • I understand your sentiment towards people who commit rape or molest children. All humans share that same natural instinct to protect children from harm. But let me ask you this question. What if the person who let’s say molested a child, was molested themselves when they were young? What if the grew up not understanding appropriate touches and sexual behavior? What if there is something genetically unbalanced about them, and then bad nurture experience caused them to behave a certain way? I think we can at least agree that a child molester or serial rapist has some serious mental illness. It’s a horrible crime I agree, but what if people who commit these or other violent crimes are just have severe mental illness? Maybe we aren’t there yet, but it is conceivable with our ever expanding knowledge of the brain that in 50 years we may be able to actually heal people who have such mental illnesses. I think that at least mentally we should at least be prepared to entertain the idea that people who commit horrible crimes are perhaps not evil, just really sick and I don’t think it’s wrong to have some compassion for them, even if we don’t know of any way to deal with them right now except locking them up. That being said, studies in psychology show that if deviant sexual behavior if caught early enough in a person’s lifetime can actually be corrected. And that locking them up for their entire life is not necessary. I understand that this is an emotional issue for everyone so I understand if you think I’m crazy. But I’ve been reading a lot of books about the brain and how it works and it convinces me that as we understand more we may have a lot of solutions to rehabilitate people who have experienced trauma in their life and who have genetic disorders that impact their brain chemistry. Already we can do a lot for people if we can identify childhood trauma when it happens. Many who commit heinous crimes have been found to have undiagnosed and untreated childhood trauma.

    • It’s a tricky subject that involves looking at different aspects so let me just deal with people who have mental illnesses and people who were themselves mollested as children or both….

      1) lots of people who were molested as children do not mollest others

      2) lots of people with mental illnesses who were molested as children do not mollest others

      So, we have to define specifically who we are talking about; which are the small percentage of people who were mollested as children and who then grew up and became adults that mollested others

      Because the majority of people who were mollested as children do not then become child mollesters themselves…..we can’t somehow use that as a “get out of jail free” card….

      Because the majority of people who have mental illnesses do not become child mollesters….we can’t use “mental illness” as a “get out of jail free” card either….

      The problem with crimes like rape and molestation; is that research studies have demonstrated that it is the people who have committed rape or mollested a child to be the people most likely to do it again…….

      There are simply too many heinous examples of multiple sex offenders for us to not recognize that they need to be treated “differently” than someone who has not committed the crimes…..

      Now, this does not mean I support the current prison system; not at all….it’s absurdly expensive, it doesn’t seem to “fix” anyone……so I’m all for correcting the system and figuring out a better way to deal with criminals……..but we nonetheless can’t excuse anyone’s criminal behavior as merely being the “fault” of what others did to the as children…because lots of people had shit happen to them as children and they didn’t end up raping or murdering…

      As to the studies you mentioned about catching deviant sexual behavior at a young age…..it is a little bit more complex because of a number of different variables (income, family life, level of community, and more) its not a simple open-and-shut case that psychologist have some ethereal ability to “fix” people..

      One also has to be very careful and cautious when reading scientific journals (which happens to be a hobby of mine from my psychology days) because 21st century American psychologists are failing miserable at treating people; 70% of all Americans are on some type of prescription drug and 1/3 of all Americans are on at least 5 prescription drugs……the current bandaid solution of psychologists is to “dope” everyone up and to totally ignore the fact that much of the problems in America are due to culture, lifestyle, etc……..

      If we combined the number of people who are alcoholics and drug addicts with the people who take legal prescription drugs; the real question we face as a society is; are there anyone out there NOT taking chemical drugs???

      We are truly living in the predicted future of Huxley

    • You make some excellent points, and I did not mean to suggest that all child molesters had been molested themselves. I do not think that has to be the case, but I would say that there is something wrong with that person if they are unable to feel the natural instinct most of us share to protect children. I do not even mean to say that prison shouldn’t be an option, only the “lock them up and throw away the key” mentality isn’t necessarily helpful either. I am suggesting that there is often a combination of nature and nurture here. Just like all sociopaths don’t become homicidal maniacs because they are likely being raised by loving parents, but because of their deficiencies in the brain they still may be quiet and shy an unable to connect with people very well. Mathematical thinking is genetic to a certain degree, but a good math teacher can overcome someone who is deficient, just like a bad math teacher can suppress what would have normally been a student who is good at math. In the future I think we will be able to better identify genetic differences between people so that when we understand the nurturing influences they’ve been under we can actually treat them more efficiently and they can become productive members of society.

      The psychological research I was looking at did not mention anything about using medication. That seems to be rare in treating sex offenders in general. I agree though that we are overmedicating children! You’re right though, it’s not just as simple as being aware of a problem in order to treat it, there are other factors, but we still have a real stigma towards getting treated for mental health here (it exists in a lot of countries) because it is a somewhat ingrained idea that the mind is separate from the body. Yet the brain is just another organ, and can be sick. But we treat people with mental illness simply like they can think themselves out of their bad behavior into good behavior. This was certainly true for my father who experienced a very traumatic event at the age of 15 and was simply told that he needs to “man up” and get over it.

      There are also appears to be a correlation between repeat offenders and harsher prison sentences. Studies show that repeating offenses are greater for those receiving harsher prison sentences than those kept in the community, and repetition rates are low for juveniles especially when treated. So I’m not suggesting any get of jail free card, only a “give this person serious treatment” card like we would anybody who had a physical injury to any other organ. I believe mental illness are just as physiological as any other illness. Anyway, we’ll probably agree to disagree, but I appreciate the discussion and as always enjoy your thought provoking posts!

  16. Such a moving piece. Words that aren’t likely to leave me for a while……..

  17. Kenneth, please pardon the link, but this post reminded me of a TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson of Equal Justice Initiative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2tOp7OxyQ8‎

  18. Didn’t Jesus say something about visiting the imprisoned. Isn’t that something we should do. That’s probably a lot easier if the imprisoned isn’t someone close to you. I know a lot of people who would just cut people out of their lives.

    This is just a thought. I have nothing profound to add. People should pay for their crimes, but if we are all supposed to strive to “be like Jesus,” shouldn’t we forgive and visit them?

    • Tk, yup….reaching out to those in prison is something discussed in the new testament 🙂 and I agree…while people should pay for their crimes…we should still reach out to them and love them 🙂

  19. Thank you for letting me/us to know your inner thoughts. It’s brave and can give courage to others to show, we are not alone…

    As for these cases: you can pray. It is the very thing you can always do, being honest with Heavenly Parent, crying out for His help, to feel the wisdom, the ability to help, for their souls, for their better life.
    We are not omnipotent, to save everyone’s life. However, if you focus on one person, and you do utmost for him/her, far beyond your self-made limitations, not listening to the gossipers, without any expectations to receive anything back, than you act like you saved a hundreds or thousands.

    God can Bless you and your acts and support you and that person in mysterious ways. 🙂

    Miracles want to be happened. Only we need to make a foundation for them.

    • Yes…..much of my own philosophy is based on the idea that while I can’t “save” a million people who are hurting….I can reach out to one person at a time 🙂

  20. Taking the time to Listen is one of the best things anyone can do in this situation. Sometimes you can’t do anything else, but I’m sure the guy appreciated your time.

    None of us can undo the past, but we can learn by our mistakes and move on.

    I think that the saddest part about being in prison. It’s not a crime sentence. It’s a Life sentence. Some prisoners never escape the label that comes with a prison sentence. They are never able to integrate back into society so the only option (they see) is to fall back into a life of crime.

    We can only hope the guy with the 10year prison sentence is offered a decent job so he can start again.

    • “it’s not a crime sentence…it’s a life sentence”

      So true Vicki! I could write a massive essay about that sentence alone…..I’m totally with you on that…

  21. Off-topic, but… how do you churn these posts out day after day? I just can’t even hope to keep up.

    • Jak,

      Is a post a day a lot? Lol…..Ive often wondered if I don’t post enough ….if it wasn’t for all the crazy emails I get I would have more time to edit all that I write to post more…but dude, some of the emails I get are so nasty I feel like if I posted more articles that I couldn’t take any more hate mail…..I used to respond to every email but lately if the people are being jerks I just hit “delete” and move on……..

    • Oh, I’m just slightly envious– of the positive comments, not the hateful ones.

      Whether I’ve been well or writhing in agony, writing lots or writing little, I’ve never amassed much of a following. During my VOX years, I had people tell me I hadn’t “found my voice.” Phhtt, whatever. I was always writing in an eclectic, eccentric matter. But even when I focused on a main topic… still about the same traffic I’ve had for 10 years.

      I guess I don’t want lots of comments, but… I’m having trouble getting my readers to say much. Internet keeps changing the rules. “You have to use invitation questions.” “You have to write what your readers seem to be interested in.” Exhausting.

      Even if I can be rightly called a “grandfather of blogging”… I have precious little to show for it. Sorry for the downer, man. You’ve got some quality discussions going on, and that’s awesome. I just keep wondering what my writing is lacking

    • No problem…it’s not a downer……I’m sure that most bloggers, authors, and writers have pondered the same questions you have posed…..

      –) how do I get more readers
      –) but stay true to what I want to write about and who I am

      No easy answers I’m sure……to be honest, when I visit blogs that have massive readership and comments I’m often disgusted because the blog will be based on such trivial fluff…..I’m much more impressed with bloggers who write about serious topics I.e. “the things that matter most” 🙂

  22. We are all sinners, there is no perfect. We are all in the same boat, I don’t understand how people can be so heartless to convicts. They have accepted their error and have completed their punishment, they should be expiated for that mistake. We all have to make the most out of any given situation, whilst remaining optimistic and hopeful that things will work out, even when it seems there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. I have family around me that I watch make those stupid decisions and all I can do (and all they allow me to) is continuously advise and shower with love hoping that they will realise what they are doing. However, I do believe that sometimes God is saving them from an even worse fate by keeping them in prison. So we just need to remember that there is someone in the world, somewhere, who is in a situation which is worse off than us. Therefore, we should be grateful for the position we are in and use all our skills and gifts to better mankind.

  23. Jesus said: visit the prisoners and the sick people… So we must do.
    “Forgive and forget” ( or not) I like this phrase just don’t know how much I can take 😦
    Good night, Kenneth 🙂

  24. Sometimes it’s hard for young people to see that their actions have accountability. There are some mistakes that we make that are small, some are big and some seem like impossible to overcome. I think one step at a time is the only thing you can advise. One other thing that helps is to do something good for the community. Take any area, troubled teens, homelessness inmate rehabilitation….whatever moves you. By doing this, you can start to rebuild that feeling of self worth that often is lost. When you feel good about your contributions, you misdeeds can take the back seat…they will always be there but they won’t haunt you anymore.

  25. I really need to be at one of your coffee houses one day and just sit with you – you end up having the most interesting conversations with people. I’m the kind of person that loves to hear what people have to say and hear their stories. Fascinating (sad many times but also enlightening). So that part out of the way – it must really be hard to have those types of conversations with people because there really is only so much you can suggest. Life is so tough sometimes and choices seem so easy in one instance and so hard in another and vice versa. I hate the whole “one day at a time” bit even though it’s true. It feels so trite and quite frankly like total bullsh*t. Perhaps it’s about chipping away at one problem at a time. For instance, this gentleman already has a place to live and at least a part time job – to better help finding a better job, he work extra hard and try and get promoted, so he can then earn a better job because he has some rapport built. Maybe some volunteering (that’s not mandated) can help improve his resume, make him appear to make better decisions, etc. Once he’s out and about doing those things, he may be able to make new friends and establish new relationships with people. Sometimes if we narrow the amount of work to do by narrowing the scope, it helps tackle the whole thing because otherwise we become overwhelmed. This gentleman, and others, made mistakes, sometimes big ones, but there are people who are still willing to listen and to help. They just need help finding those folks. Once one or two good things start going their way, more good things will happen, even for those who’ve made big mistakes.

    • Lol I will pencil u in for coffee time…how’s next Friday at 3 sound 😉 lol

      As to what u wrote though….the MOST difficult part of talking to a variety of people is what you pointed out: there is only so much I can say….

      1) for most situations there isn’t some profound thing u can say to someone that will make their life better

      2) most people don’t even want to hear what we have to say

      3) most people really need to figure things out for themselves….so the best thing we can do is nudge them in a particular direction of thought and hope they see the light, so to speak

  26. ” When you have nothing else to give, you can still give something, which is above all: a prayer.”
    V. Ghika.

  27. Congratulations, Kenneth!

    I have nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

    More about this nomination is at

    http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/very-inspiring-blogger-award-thank-you-babsje/

  28. I am a firm believer in karma . . . I do ten days . . . he does ten years. . . . why? who knows? . . . maybe it’s karma.

    The evil that men do live after them . . . even if it’s sanctified by Uncle Sam, it demands payment.

    We all pay to play. Karma?

    Sometimes a kind ear is all we are able to give to those grieving many.

    • It is so weird because I know people who got arrested for drugs and received nothing more than the proverbial slap on the wrists…but then other people are sent to prison for years….

  29. Great post. My brother ended up in jail for a few weeks, just a few weeks, for drug possession and that was enough to haunt him for the past decade or so. I am proud of him in that he used his time in jail to become a better person, but society demands that he have trouble finding a job now for the rest of his life. Why that is supposed to help a person make better choices is beyond me. Maybe we need to learn how to punish the crime but not the criminal…

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