Why do we choose the to go down the wrong path when we have directions to the right path staring us in the face? When it comes to choosing the wrong path I am a witness first hand. As I sit back and look at my life now and some of the choices I made I beat myself up mentally because there is no reason why I should be sitting here in prison. All though I come from “the hood”, I wasn’t really raised in the hood for the most part. We moved out the hood when I was about 7 or 8 and we moved to what was at the time a predominantly all white neighborhood. The suburbs as they say. My mother worked several jobs sometimes three at a time to ensure that her kids had a more than better life. Going from a social worker at children’s services to being the director of her own department. She worked as a professor at a university, and even worked at Jo Ann fabrics part time around holidays for extra cash. She did whatever she had to do to make sure her kids had better than the average. She even put me through several private schools in order for me to have a better education. She showed me through hard work that you can achieve anything you put your mind through and become whatever you wanted to be as I watched her obtain a B.A., two master’s degree and a P.H.D. So even after seeing all this and having the opportunities I did right at my finger tips why did I move out my mother’s house at the age of fifteen and move back to the “hood” and choose the path I did? For some reason the “street life” was so appealing to me and I wanted to live that life versus going down the straight path that was laid right there in front of me to be whatever I wanted to be in life……..now here I am in prison living this life. So I said all that to say this, be wise in choosing your path. Don’t choose the wrong path like I did and have to live w/ a whole bunch of regrets. Every one isn’t given an option of paths to go down but if you are, be wise and choose the path that leads to greatness and prosperity………
Categories: Jason Jones
Very inspiring. This is definitely written not by just words alone, but the experience that glues them together in such a way of creating the right mental images. I was raised in a small ghetto town of less than 500, and to be brutally honest, the only choices one had to survive was to either deal drugs or rob someone. You couldn’t have dreams and aspirations because there was always a series of problems that eventually got the better of anyone. So, most just quit aiming for stars and settled in a cesspool of crime. Apparently, as you mentioned, “street life” is the best life, being so tempting that a highly educated person would throw away intellect & a powerfully positive future that would be spawned from such achievements. Worse yet, I see it is glorified in media. Movies, TV shows, some commercials–aspects of this lifestyle are shined and sweetened, giving the impression that it is the best choice. In some minds, including the little ones, it becomes the only choice.
During my career as a short story writer, I have had the honor of touring prisons and interviewing inmates for research purposes, & I find it disheartening that better choices are given AFTER these seemingly bright invidividuals fall victim to what they refer to as “the game.” One inmate in his 80s taught me about WILL vs. WANT: Will you try to make something positive out of yourself, or do you WANT to make something positive? According to his wisdom, the WANT is what drives a 15-year-old to either hate cops or become one. I believe that social worker you talked about had a WANT, and it looks like it paid off.
Thank you for sharing this. It’s a good piece to read and remember.
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Jason, your story is not an unfamiliar one. I too could have been a very different person through some of the years of my life.
Although I got into the streets at an early age (11), I didn’t take my 1st hit of acid until my 15th birthday.
I had my 12th birthday in Juvenile Hall, and went to the O”Leary’s foster home two months after that birthday.
They were remarkable people who taught us to read and understand what we read. Encouraged us to explore everything, without grudging.
Yet I moved out on my 18th birthday, and had my 19th in the Marine Corps. And even though they were Christian and suggested we all become one as well, I was selfishly inventing my own way. At 14 I got the spark, that candle lit within us that lets us know He’s here.
But the candle burned dimly at first, until I was in my 30’s and chose a life of crime. Not just robbing people of their livelihood, but at times, even their life. I spent 14 more months in jail, and it was 1989 (38 for me) that The Book Spoke to me.
I have never looked back since. Jesus remains at my side, and the Spirit prompts me when I go adrift.
There is and was no other reason Jason. We are selfish, and left to our own design, will do that which has the greatest appeal to us.
I have a grand niece who has fantastic and educated parents, yet she hooked up with a guy while in college and became a junkie and crack head, leaving school after only 2 years. When he went to jail, she worked the streets to maintain her habits, and I found her there in 2016.
I began praying for her and providing what nourishments I could…the water of Christ is never ending, and she finally quit.
As a junkie myself for 7 years during the 70’s, I know how hard that was for her. But today as we spoke, she couldn’t believe how wonderful life was when you don’t have the addiction controlling you.
Our selfish impulses are an addiction as well. Don’t let them control you. We are not all as smart or as dedicated as your mother was (is), and have to accept our limitations. But you can do better, and I think from reading your post, that you are trying.
A cool dude that I admire is Dave Chappelle. His parents are both Professors, yet he was caught up in trying to run his own life, and the many vices that are there to tempt us. Now he travels the country teaching us not to get involved with negative elements, that they do not need to be in our lives; and that we can shut them off if we want to.
Stay strong, and leave your past behind. It’s gone, and only today matters.
As always, God Bless you and keep you. And remember, it’s His will that must be followed, not ours.
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Friend, you’ve got quite a story to tell, and I seriously hope young ears hear it. And, I’m not religious, but if things are truly God’s will, then maybe there’s a reason He allows one to be burned by fire–to learn to be fireproof by faith, perhaps?
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