When I was young I was introduced to violence like most kids are to cartoons. One of my earliest memories is one that has scarred me both mentally and physically. I still have nightmares about it 23 years later. When I was seven years old I was shot on New Years Eve. I almost died because of a stray bullet that found its way into my bedroom window due to the traditional gunfire celebrating the beginning of a new year. Which lead to a fear of guns, It sounds absurd saying that because pretty much since the age of twelve I’ve had one of my own. I watched silently and helplessly as domestic violence riddled my household almost every single day. Alcohol played a big role in this, and I’ve had several family members that were and still are addicted to the bottle. Which lead to a fear of alcohol, again its ironic because I myself partook in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. By the age of thirteen I was a full fledge weed head who dabbled in liquid courage.
My whole life I’ve been provided every opportunity to make something of myself. I could of took several different routes than the one I ended up traveling. Yet I still and knowingly sabotaged my life like a terrorist hellbent on proving his self to a cause he doesn’t truly believe in. I knew what would happen to me If I continued down the road I was on. It terrified me that I might end up dead or in prison, but I couldn’t quite escape the persona and lifestyle that had be glamorized my entire childhood.
To often people are their own worst enemy, I know I was. I’ve earned this 15year prison sentence. Its no one else’s fault but my own that I’ve had to watch my beautiful daughter grow up from behind bars.
I’ve lost so much because I chose not to use all the talent God gave me, because I felt the need to be a follower instead of a leader. I’ve learned so much about myself and life since I been in prison. God has saved me yet again, and It must be for a good reason. Now I’m determined to use this second chance for good. I want to help young adults learn from my mistakes instead of them suffering and stumbling along learning as they go. Because our criminal justice system isn’t fair and it doesn’t care about our children making mistakes. The first chance they get they’ll lock them up and throw away the key. Innocent until proven guilty is a myth.
If our children are the future we must invest an give all of ourselves so that they’ll have the brightest future possible.
Embrace your kids, show them you love them endlessly. Be role model worthy even when they’re not watching because guess what….they’re always watching, learning, and emulating us. We are our children’s first example of what to be like. Be the very thing you want them to be…or as close to it as possible. They won’t be far behind…
Christopher Lewis #828689