One week from now…
I will be a published author!
Have you watched these videos? Now is the time to let the world know what’s happening on June 1st!!! Please share.
Occasionally I may post something seemingly unrelated to Voice for the Silent Fathers! THIS is one of those posts.
Yesterday, a twitter follower (@allierox29) tagged me with an article written by Carole Malone titled: Prison is supposed to be a punishment and a deterrent – so stop the treats! Please take a moment to click the link and read it so you will understand that under my current circumstances, I felt compelled to respond.
I’ve spent most of the past 11 and a half years at USP Canaan, one of the most violent Federal prisons in America, and I can tell you I’ve seen it all.
Unfortunately there is no one perfect solution with punishment because there are a number of different variables that lead to a person ending up in prison. For the sake of this discussion, I would like to point out the essential ingredient that those of us behind these walls need to improve our lives, which is the desire to want to change. That seed of desire needs to be cultivated so that one has the ability to see him or herself as more than just an ex-con. It’s important for everyone to be able to recognize the essence of who they really are in order to live their true potential. In prison, art and music programs, educational and trade classes are the tools used in an attempt at a healthy cultivation for change, while helping to reinforce one’s greater potential. Programs and creative arts don’t only help to recognize one’s potential, but creates the experience of living a meaningful and purposeful life even while still incarcerated.
I understand the ‘tough on crime’ attitude and there should be and are different degrees of penalties based on the types of crimes that are committed. The majority of crimes here in America are non-violent drug offenses, and the negative ripple effect of the mandatory minimums has done more harm to society as a whole then it’s helped. But that’s another topic of discussion.
From my personal perspective as one that only saw myself as a gangster for most of my younger years, I came to a point where I embraced the desire to change, at a point in my life where most thought it was too late. Still I choose to walk a positive spiritual path, leading to a priceless inner freedom. I discovered the gift of writing while preparing speeches to discuss universal laws and life principals in an attempt to get others realize their true potential. After taking a Yoga program, I found a new positive habit which lead to me becoming a Yoga instructor for the last five years, along with being a physical fitness trainer. It was through these classes and programs that I realized I can be something other than a gangster. But again… It all started with my individual desire to want something better, to want to change.
Now my popularity and respect behind these prison walls where I’m called the Guru, was earned because of my choice to change and living the truth of my potential and in expressing the truth even when it isn’t always what some want to hear. This is especially true when there not committed to making a change, but it’s the truth none the less. Teeth get sucked and eyes are rolled when I boldly state that if you don’t make the commitment to change now in prison, I seriously doubt you’ll make it in the free world and you’ll soon be back. It’s just the truth.
When I make suggestions about the steps we could take collectively as inmates to help society from behind these walls, the shocked expressions on my fellow convicts faces make me laugh. One such suggestion was to donate one of our 3 meals (breakfast which most of us sleep through) twice a week to the local food pantry for those that are hungry and less fortunate. I got plenty of dirty looks for that, but then I ask; Why are we always expecting society to make changes for us with policy and prison reforms, yet we don’t take the initiative to make changes for ourselves in helping others? Even when I explain that the gift is in knowing that we did something positive for others, which helps build our self-esteem. (Side note… They were not receptive and not trying to hear it).
I have plenty ideas for prison reform, but what is essential is feeding the desire for change, to want better for one self, ones family and for the society that we one day will return too.
There’s so much more that I can address on this topic, but I already know I’m a few days behind in this discussion. My point is that regardless if your hard or soft, or throwing tons of money into the prison system, if the desire to change is not nurtured and cultivated within the individual, then we can’t expect them to bear healthy fruit. Programs, the creative arts, support and love from family and friends are all ingredients to success, but it all starts with the urge, that desire to want better for ones self, by trusting and believing in the power of change.
Again I can address the Justice for victims, punishment as a deterrent and a number of issues another time, I just wanted to get this out this today.
Thank for letting me express my truth! Eddie K. Wright aka “Gangster turned Guru”
My publisher and sister, Mimi of, M Wright Group, LLC has been working hard to make sure there are no delays with our planned launch date of June 1st! She’s been working diligently with our editor, Diane Yuskin and just let me know that they will be ready to submit for publication within the next 48 hours.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU?
A give-a-way or two!
Make sure you’re following us on social media….
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube @ EddieKWright
Self-publishing is no easy task. Doing it from a maximum federal Penitentiary adds a whole bunch of other obstacles to the equation that the M Wright Group, specifically my big sis Mimi has taken on, refusing to let anything deter us from making this June 1st release date.
When I told her to mail me the final version of the manuscript for my approval, it had to be done according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons policy, which means she has to break it down to 5 individual packages.
I received 4 of the packages on a Friday, missing only the one package containing the first 10 chapters. I didn’t think anything of it, expecting that the mail would catch up with me the following Monday since there’s no mail call on the weekend.
When Monday came and I didn’t receive any mail, again I stayed optimistic that the United States Postal Service would eventually get it to me. In the meantime, I had the other chapters to review.
Finding typos and making a few content changes, I really wanted to go over those first 10 chapters myself.
“Where are they?” I asked Mimi. “I don’t know, I mailed them!” was all she could say.
The following Friday, I was convinced the first 10 chapters got lost, ending up wherever all missing mail ends, prepared to tell Mimi to overnight express another copy after they do the mail call.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that because my name was called and the first 10 chapters were finally in my possession.
The first thing I checked was the postal date which was the same as the first 4 (saving Mimi from hearing my mouth!).
Walking back to my cell, I wondered “What happen for this to take a full extra week for this to reach me?”
I got the answer when I turned over the envelop to pull out the chapters.
There was a “Great Job!” sticker placed on the back of the envelop (pictured above).
I walked back to the office and asked her if she was the one who put the sticker on the envelope.
She denied and told me that one of the officers in the mail room must have done it.
I Walked back to my cell with a big smile on my face from the confidence boost the sticker gave me. I was feeling grateful for that staff member who took the time not only to read the chapters, but was considerate enough to send a message with that sticker.
One thing you learn to appreciate in prison are the small acts of kindness, that are normally taken for granted.
This “Great Job!” sticker made me feel like I won some book award for some reason. I know that may sound corny because I tend to get extra sentimental with anything having to do with this project, but it just felt great to me.
I wanted to share it on my blog in hopes that the mail room officer is follow me on social media. If so, I want to personally send my thanks! You made my day!
Just wanted to send another thank’s for supporting “Voice for the Silent Fathers”.
As the official launch date approaches, I get a little nervous, but then I’ll read a review or comment that sets my mind at ease.
With only 18 days until June 1st, I’m looking forward to hearing other thoughts about what they read. I’m even looking forward to some hate mail because I know I made a lot of mistakes and choices a lot of people might not approve of. There’s a lesson in everything in life unfortunately I’ve learned the hard way on what it means to be a father.
Eddie K. Wright