December 7, 2019
Let’s Circle Up has provided a therapeutic setting for me when I didn’t even realize I needed consoling. It creates a safe space, allowing everyone’s voice to be heard. In this unique way of storytelling & sharing experiences, I’ve gathered better comprehension on how all life is related. No matter gender, complexion, geographical background, height or weight. We all have a stake. Being involved with LCU enabled me to look inward and see the role I play. Such self-reflection is the foundation for my growth. This style of learning is very subtle, drawing forth knowledge from each individual as we sit gathered around, building relationships, connected through our separate journeys, which now are intertwined. For so long, I’ve been viewing things as divided, putting myself and everyone else into categories, thus making it normal to be numb to others’ pain and not second guess my harming of the world. Selling drugs! Using drugs! Carrying guns was my means to tearing apart my community. This was all I seen in my neighborhood, so I took on these characteristics and tried to be the best at it. Knowing deep down this was wrong and destructive, I felt that there were no other options.
LCU has displayed many possible alternatives. “What does justice require?” is an exercise we do where a case study is read. We break up into three small groups, one each representing the victims, the offenders and the community. In small groups, we brainstorm what the needs are, and whose obligation it is to fulfill these needs. Taking such positions and asking these questions opened my eyes to how many people are affected by a crime.
Actually seeing examples of a better way of doing justice was pivotal for my shift in thinking. Justice is not just something imposed upon you. It’s living right in relation to the whole world. Redefining my outlook caused me to realize all the moments I ruptured the peace of life. My eyes have been opened, allowing me to see the level of damage I’ve done. Now turning over a new leaf, my actions are more intentional with putting things more right. I’m drug free. I now facilitate with LCU, which gives me the opportunity to speak to various people, some from the community I once tore apart. LCU is my platform to pay it forward. For me to cause no harm is the goal. LCU is the tool I use in walking towards this desired lifestyle. It truly is my compass. Helping me heal life, starting with my own…peace.
--I am my mother’s first son and father’s first born, first grandson on both sides. So from the start I was a trail blazer in many ways. Acknowledging all the mistakes I made in life has enabled me to grow and lead in a more positive light….As the sun rises every day in this part of the world, so does my drive to improve the quality of life, living each moment grateful for the present of now.