Prison Journalism: Breaking barriers

Prison Journalism: Breaking barriers

I had the opportunity to participate in an eye-opening experience over the weekend. It made me realize the importance of breaking barriers between one another. I believe this dialogue can be a part of the change that all of us are fighting towards.

Discussing problems

We, as ex-offenders, have all paid our dues when it comes to the daily issues we face. We feel that as changed individuals, we battle and make changes towards a better future. We discussed our issues amongst each other. All the problems we face are similar; each one of us wrote down our problems, placed them into a box, and we all got someone else’s to read out and reply to.

Beauty about being positive and staying positive

All the problems we faced and are facing as ex-offenders are similar for all. (Financial problems, the old ways of gangs and crimes, our past life haunts us). So we replied with a positive proxy (I AM LOVED – FROM A PLACE OF HOPE). This allowed us to be empathetic and optimistic. It helped us understand that the problems we face are not impossible to resolve. We need to remain positive and stay positive no matter how hard it gets.

Discussing amongst each other

I noticed that as each one of us participated in this wonderful exchange, we realized that we are not alone and have the support from one another and the people that support us with our cause. Faith that we can overcome, hope that we will one day accomplish, and lastly, love that overcomes boundaries. Out of all these, FAITH, HOPE, LOVE – love is the greatest of them all.

How to apply this into our fight for change

The power of love is out of this world. It will always overpower the darkest beliefs, believe it or not. It breaks down the barriers between each other and brings everyone closer, and this can provide us with the power we need to join hands and become stronger as people. It can only be for the better.

As ex-offenders, we face problems in our community, not being accepted for the stigma of being an ex-offender (gangster). Even though we no longer participate in past activities, we get judged and placed in a negative way. If we can break down the barriers between us and others, it would mean everyone helping each other. There will be no barriers to stop us from getting things done.

Even in the Bible, it says in Corinthians, that out of all the gifts God has given us: FAITH, hope, and Love – love is the greatest of them all!!

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