Things always grind to a halt over the holidays in December but one thing that doesn't stop is life inside. I spent time away, its no secret, and I always felt hard-done-by despite being aware that it was my own actions that put me inside but I always had hope.
This is one thing I took for granted. So whilst networking on social media to acquire more content and artwork for us to promote I was put in contact with guys in prison in the USA. In the UK we moan about our sentences being harsh, or as the public think the sentences not being harsh enough.
We read an article (which is on the site) about a man who was given 51 years for a situation he did everything in his power to avoid. It was an eye opening article, take a look.
I then was in contact with a guy who was never getting out, I never asked what he'd done, but I felt his pain. He's outlived all his relatives and has no friends from his past . What I saw from this man was kindness, he bent over backwards to accommodate my requests and was always very polite. He had no hope, he'll never be a free man, all he has is memories but it didn't stop the kindness he showed me.
We've been in contact with some amazing humans over December, a lot of them with little hope and all I've seen is polite, kind respectful people paying for mistakes they did as kids or young men from underprivileged backgrounds. Most had experienced childhood trauma, re-traumatized by the harsh realities of prison life and most had no hope of ever being free. These guys have good reason to feel hard-done-by, not me in my cozy cell or hospital room, with the hope of being free always imminent.
So when I look back over my time away moping around feeling like the world owes me I feel embarrassed, I have a family, I have friends so why did I think in that way.
The kindness of strangers is a term I never really paid attention to now resonates with me in a big way. I am humbled by these people and I'm inspired to add more kindness to my day because I've now felt this feeling and I want others to feel this too.
As we enter 2023, myself and Alex have decided together that this year for Creative Offenders is about growth, we are working alongside some really inspiring and great people who also share the same hopes for their futures.
We thankyou all for your support and we look forward to the new year with a feeling of hope.