I began contribuiting to Inmate Blogger on January 6th, 2018. If you do the math, it’s been about three months. I’ve posted close to 70 blogs, on a variety of subjects.
This month, I was convinced that nobody was actually reading my blogs. I likened it to when I was married, when I could say anything to my wife, and she wouldn’t pay attention. “I’m going to turn gay, join the circus, and artificially inseminate elephants in Pakistan, baby.”
“Oh, that’s good, baby….that’s exciting,” she would say nonchalantly, reading her newspaper, having no clue (I hope) what I had just said. (Jennifer, if you’re reading this and you actually did hear me, kudos to you! You had me fooled!).
So I wondered — were all of my blogs just going out into some big black hole in cyberspace? Or worse, what if people…perhaps lots of people…WERE reading, but they found my blogs so boring, they simply didn’t care. Nobody had written me, nobody had signed up on JPay to comment on any of my blogs, nobody besides Anja had ranked my blogs on InmateBlogger (and she only does it because it’s one of her duties as a girlfriend). Perhaps I needed to change tactics? To write about different topics? As a marketing guy, I was fixated on what I was doing wrong.
Then, one day in late March, everything changed. I received my first fan letter! It was a welcome surprise, and most unexpected. It came from a man named Tiago. He’s a Catholic Missionary in Brazil, and the postcard he sent me was stamped in Sao Paulo. He runs a blog of his own, TiagosMissionTales, and he said that he enjoys my posts on InmateBlogger. He encourged me to keep writing and keep sharing.
He didn’t leave a return address, so I am unable to write him back, but I wanted to use this space to publicly thank him. Thank you, Tiago. Thank you for caring enough to say hello, to send a postcard. Something so simple can really lift an inmate’s spirits.
For everyone else, maybe you don’t want to write me. That’s fine. I won’t take it personal. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that someone special in your life is incarcerated. A friend, a lover, an ex-husband, a family member. And if so, I challenge you to take a few minutes today (not tomorrow, not when you have time next week, but today….right now) and send them a postcard. You don’t have to send a long letter, just a little postcard. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Let them know you haven’t forgotten them. If you have no incarecerated friends, pick your favorite blogger here and write them a quick postcard. It will brighten his or her day.
People are important in our lives. Without people, without friendships, without love, we truly have nothing. So I encourage you all to write to the person who means the most to you. Perhaps to you, it’s just a silly postcard. But to them, it could be life-changing. Every ounce of kindness in here goes a long way.
Believe in good karma. Be kind to others and that kindness will be returned.
Or don’t. As Kacey Musgraves says, “Just follow your arrow wherever it points.”
Categories: Stephen Newman