Today I had the privilege of once again sharing my presentation, story and insights with the inmates at two correctional facilities in Ontario, and It has left such an impact on me.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.
Before the presentation began, I saw the men brought in (socially distanced) into a room where they were seated to watch my presentation. I took a good look at the men, and their disposition, their expressions, their surroundings, the orange suits and tears filled my insides.
I knew I had to hold it together, after all I was expected to deliver a presentation of hope and inspiration within a few minutes… But as I looked at my laptop screen at the men, I was quickly transported back into my own life and journey as I thought about some of the earlier decisions I made in my life.
As a young and wild teenager, through passions and hobbies of my own, I was magnetically drawn to the wrong crowds. Choice by choice I found myself carving out a life of mischief and misfortune and I couldn’t seem to turn things around. One bad move led to the next which opened the door to more bad opportunities of which I would continually go after.
After a few years, my mischief became worst and worst until I found myself with terrible convictions to my name sitting in a jail cell, starring at a metal toilet and a half eaten bagel for hours before my parents came and bailed me out.
This was me. This was the life I had carved out for myself and it was a total mess.
However, “When you get into trouble, life puts you in a bubble, but bubbles can pop, and bad habits can drop…” - D.Lewis
After reaching my lowest moments in life, eventually something clicked. It was a very hard lesson that came with much hurt, much sacrifice, much transformation, but nonetheless a definite mind switch, that would result in a new me, a new Daniel, new perspectives, new goals, a new chance a new opportunity and a new journey, that I was excited to embark on.
All of these thoughts rushed through my mind as I looked at the men on my screen today.
I don’t know what they’ve done, I don’t know who they’ve hurt, I don’t know what they’re going through.. But I do know one thing for sure, they can change.
Even when your body is physically behind bars, your mind is free to change. It starts with examination and deep reflection, it’s processed through admitting something is wrong and that you need help. If you can do these things, change is on the way.
Potential sits in every person on this planet, waiting for the opportunity to show you what it can do in you and for you and for others.
I hope with all my heart, that the men I spoke to today, understand that and also that they have the freedom to change