San Quentin State Prison
Hope is a great thing. Maybe the most important thing that a human being can have. In life, people tend to judge their circumstance by whether it is better or worse than someone else’s. For instance, I see men here at San Quentin every day who are on death row. These men must be handcuffed any time that they exit their cell to go anywhere. Most of them will never have any physical contact with another person for as long a they live. When I look at these men, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am not to be in that situation.
However, the truth of the matter is prison is prison. Physically, none of us has the freedom to live our lives as we choose. In my opinion, the only thing that makes our situation different is our hope for the future. My hope is to go home soon while their’s is to find a way not to be executed. Hope is a coping mechanism that helps our minds deal with the imbalance between our fantasy and our reality. We hope for a better tomorrow and so we are able to push forward today. We must, however, understand how to balance hope with gratitude. In all of u,m there is a very fine line between our wants and needs. This is what makes billionaires crave their next million.
We have an insatiable appetite for more. We can become so caught up in chasing our hopes that we forget how to enjoy what we already have. How much is enough? That is a question that each of us must answer for ourselves. One metric should be: If you spend time chasing things that you want because you are not happy with what you have, then maybe happiness will come from helping others get what they need. Growing up, I saw over 15 of my friends buried because of gang violence before I reached the age of 20. Even worse is the fact that nearly all of them were under the age of 25. I continuously remind myself that as bad as my situation may be, there is a reason why I am still here. Yes, hope is a beautiful thing.
My hope is to one day soon be able to spend time with the people I care about and also help them financially as they get older. I also want to find a nice lady to share my life with. And so I continue to hope for a brighter tomorrow, but I am also grateful for waking up today.
All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. This program is part of The Last Mile San Quentin. Twitter: @TLM