Yes I know...
Once again let me make it clear that I know I have it better than a lot of people. Since a lot of this blog is the result of letters I have written to the Editor, the bitching, etc. is my way of letting off steam.
It is interesting to me how my perspective has changed about life and the problems one has. The most uplifting comments have been the ones like, "Hey, I thought I had it bad", or "I will appreciate what I have a lot more after reading this blog." Or as I recall one young person who sort of hinted that maybe his parents were right about him not working up to his potential.
I used to think I had all the answers. That if I gave someone advice, he or she better take it because I am Oz. Well, what the blog and prison life have taught me is that you can never really know when the path you have traveled will make sense to someone else.
The act of sharing my journey with the hope that others may benefit is what this blog has become. Also, while I may indeed have it better than other people, my pain and frustration is still real to me.
One of the problems I see today is that if we all take the attitude that we each need to take care of ourselves, and that if others problems are their problems, one is likely to miss the best part of being human. That is the JOY that comes from knowing that you have brought hope or some light into someone else's world.
Two people benefit when that happens, the giver and the receiver. Certainly not ail of us can tackle the problems of world hunger, genocide, dictatorships, etc. This is what I have become more aware of. Even though there are those worse off than me, some of you out there have taken the time to brighten my day.
That in turn gives me a little hope and light, and off I go to spread some light and hope. Not in the old way of decreeing "I am Oz", but in a way that allows for others whom I might not have even related to in the past, to be able to approach me and see if yes, can you let me lean on you for a bit? Certainly another one of those pump up the volume songs is "LEAN ON ME."
Part of this process has been an increase in patience on my part. I have also certain been humbled. Like the Bible says, one should walk humbly with the Lord. I know I can probably still program certain aspects of a computer better than most, but there are a lot of people out there who can teach me a thing or two, or simply bring a little light and hope into my life.
One of the things that are different for me is the amount of religious programming on the radio down here. On Sunday evenings there are five to six different locally-produced programs on two of the Country stations. Most nights, at least one of them will remember us prisoners.
One of the Pastors shared the story of a quadriplegic living in a nursing home around here. He was playing with a gun when he was 18; it went off and severed all control of his body. I am not sure if he is on a ventilator or not, but he has been in a nursing home for over twenty years.
The Pastor asked all those listening to remember him and send him a Christmas card. Well, I did, and I even got one back from him, written by a friend that helps him respond to correspondence. He had kind thoughts for me!
Yes, we can all help others get along the road of life, and that is something we should never forget or give up!