An Essay By Marcus in Georgia
The book is still open
As I sat on my bunk 9/14/05, peering out the windows at the tall trees about 600 yards away while waiting the last 90 minutes for the warden inspection, many thoughts passed my mind. They started with my 26 years old love of my life, my daughter Tynecia who is about to get married in 2 months and should graduate college next year. I thought about how much she loves and respects me. How I've been there for her from her birth up unto this day, how proud I am of her and the pride I feel in despite being 23years old when she was born, was a college freshman, and single, I took my responsibility of being a father very serious. Then I think, despite being in prison, I did get something right.
Then my thoughts drift toward my own self inventory and introspection. I think it's very important that we all, prisoners and the free, periodically do this in order to gauge our progression or digression, strengths and weaknesses in an effort to make our life count for something, for we'll pass this way only once. I think it was Dr.M.L.King who said "If in our living we have helped somebody or touched another soul, then our life has not been in vain." If we have helped one human being who was travelling the wrong path to change course to the right path, or brought some enlightenment to someone who was in darkness, that's a gargantuan contribution to humanity.
The following questions I asked myself as part of my own introspection that I'd like to share with my comrades in the struggle for life, freedom and justice, as well as exhort you to introspect and conduct a personal inventory.
- Is the time serving me well (to my advantage) or am I serving the time (is the time doing me)?
- Have I become wiser or more ignorant and how? Why?
- Is or has my life positively affecting/affected anyone? Whom? How? In what ways?
- Has my relationship with God grown or decreased? How? Why?
- Have I set attainable goals? How am I working towards them? (We all need something to strive toward).
- What changes or sacrifices do I need to make to achieve my goals or to become a better person or the one God says I should be?
- Have my reading and writing or verbal skills increased? Decreased? How? Why?
- Have I learned self control yet?
- Has this prison experience benefited me? If so, how? Have I grown/matured?
- If I could start all over again from a child, what would I do differently, given the same circumstances?
- What things about myself do I need to change?
- What am I doing that I need to stop or do less or more of?
- When I leave this life how would I like to be remembered? Or what would I like to leave behind? What would be my legacy?
I feel these are very important questions that every soul, imprisoned or free, needs to ask itself. Not only do they provide structure and attainable goals to strive for, but catalyse critical thinking on our legacy. We must not let negative things (written or spoken) define our legacy, whether it's the district attorney or other detractors, our convictions ought not to end with a period and be our end, but a comma or semicolon which denotes more to come. Your life, the pen, is in your hand. How you live and what you do with the rest of your life defines your legacy. It has earthly and eternal significance. So write well. The book is still open. Take personal inventory and responsibility and be truthful with yourself. This exercise will assist you in transformation from a slimy crawling caterpillar metamorphosing into a beautiful flying butterfly. God bless you!
Marcus Wellons, Georgia
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