From Dedicated Dave:
“I consider myself very blessed to be in a relatively “mellow” prison, and a very quiet dormitory. If I could tell you young people aabout what it is really like in here, it would sound real scary. And it is! However, as you know, its not always enough to just be scared of prison to keep you from coming here.
I know there is no “magic formula” to save you from coming to prison. However, there is something I call “experiential wisdom”. And this comes from a Native American point of view. Its thousands of years old, and it works if you let it. This is not a dogma (my way is the only way…) type of thing. And it sounds very simple. “Think for yourself”! Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to think, act or behave in a certain way in order to be accepted. Especially if what is asked of you takes from or harms another person.
No matter what you look like, hair, skin, eyes, color, there is a place for you in the world. Creator made each one of us unique and special. We all have gifts and abilities, as well as problems and faults. It is in acceptance of self, as creator made you, that you will find all good things in life.
Prison in not a place to be! It is a punishment for those of us who could not conform our behavior to the law. I grew up thinking that TV was a model of how I should behave. And its all out there on the internet now, so there is no secrets anymore. As a child I thought “Dope” was like “Pay doh”. But I could not connect the “effect” with the substance you consumed.
I was also fascinated by the “hero” in movies and TV. I would often go to sleep with scenarios of violence going through my mind, with “ME” as the hero. But, guess what – real life isn’t like that! I never had anyone to say to me – that is not real. In real lifie, if you hurt someone you go to prison.
And many of us did not know any other way. All we saw in real life was anger and conflict. My step-father was not nice and sometime beat my mom and me. I was 4 years old! He died a drunk, laying in the gutter of a filthy street. Yet I carred my anger towards him with me.
Eventually I expressed my anger at him on an innocent victim! And he was already dead! So why was I still angry? Simple – I never let it go, and the anger was like a “bug” that got bigger and bigger until it became a monster – and demanded release.
“Experiential Wisdom” says: emotions must be experienced and released in order to walk in a balanced manner in life. It is only human to feel anger, shame and many other negative emotions. But if we don’t know what to do with these, then we bottle them up inside, until they explode. And this is what happened to me. I held all my emotions in for 23 years, and the drugs and alcohol wore down my self control until the anger (rage) came out.
Now I’m paying for that one moment of violence with 32 years of being locked up and no end in sight. And I was not a criminal or gangster. I had no record of any kind and was honorably discharged from the Navy. I could have have been a police, or…?
I don’t think very many people could sit in an empty cell for 3 weeks with nothing. No TV, no radioi, no books, nothing! Ask yourself – could I sit for 3 weeks in an empty cell with a mattress and a toilet – nothing else?
You must know yourself! Think for yourself! There is beauty and peace in life if you seek it. We all make choices in life each and every day and we have to learn to make the right ones. I encourage you all to find a spiritual path, one that teaches you to do good and improve self. If we open our eyes, and look around us, there are many people who will help us if we are honest about seeking change in our lives. Happiness is something we carry inside of us.
That’s all I want to say for now. I welcome any communication with anyone who would like to write me. I am dedicated to service to others! Blessed Be! Dedicated Dave