On Monday October 4th, I gave a speech at Alton High School. It was an interesting experience. I focused on the socio-economic conditions that created the environments that most of the children in the alternative school program came from. I wanted the young people to understand that the way they view life was the result of experiences over which they had no control, but if they learned to see life more clearly they could take control of their lives and change their circumstances.
I told them all about my horrid past and what it took for me to make some changes. I also told them about the system that created the circumstances they have endured, and that they have fallen into the traps laid for them already. Most importantly, I tried to explain how to break the cycle in their lives.
I talked for an hour without putting anyone to sleep. I'd say that was a success. Many of the students expressed gratitude and appreciation for me coming out and talking to them.
A friend recorded the speech, but I'm having difficulties uploading the footage. I think that is because I recently had to wipe my hard drive to remove a virus and the software needed to perform such tasks must be uploaded again. I can't figure out what it is though. When I have time, I will figure it out. Then I will share the video with all of you.
It feels good to be able to guide children away from the mistakes I made. I feel it is my purpose in life. I can relate to them in many ways that others can not. My past gives me credibility that others do not have. I know that God set this path for me and I intend to walk it to the best of my ability.
Many activists follow this blog even though most of them aren't registered. Most of my Facebook friends are activists to some degree. I respect and admire all of you. We are here to lead by example. We see wrongs and we work to change them. Our path is not easy. Sometimes our worst enemies are those we fight for and/or those who claim to be fighting along side us, but we have to stay strong in the face of adversity. We have to have faith that God would not choose a path for us that we are not suited for.
I have made many mistakes since my release from prison. Some of them are due to my own arrogance. Some of them are due to my failure to be true to myself and what I must do. Still, I am who I am and I must do what I must do.
The task that has been laid before me is one that I must complete. The same goes for all of you who feel the desire to set things aright. It is who you are. It is what makes you special. Never give up the good fight. Cherish every success no matter how small. Most importantly, be careful not to become proud or arrogant. We can all be our own worst enemy if that were to happen.
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