Friday, September 28, 2007

How I Became a Lifer( Luis's Story)

When I was 16 years old, I thought I knew it all and nobody could tell me anything. My mother tried to talk to me many times, warning me about what could happen if I didn't live right. I didn't listen and I had to learn the hard way: by losing my freedom for life. I know how it is to be in your shoes, when you feel like giving up and taking short cuts, but is it really worth it? Would it make your family love you more? Would it be a good example for your lil' bro' or sis' who looks up to you? Is it really what you want? Think about that for a long time and be honest with yourself.
In prison I have no control over my life. Someone tells me when I can eat; what I can eat; when to go to bed; and when I can go outside. I'm always told to go back in my cell. You have a choice to avoid this life by making something of yourself. How do you do that? It starts with education-meaning-school. You may not like school, but if you break the law and get sent to prison you will wish you were back in school. Also, you have to think before you act. Don't do anything that may ruin your life by not thinking things through. When you do something wrong and think about it later you end up regretting it, but you can't change it. You may think to yourself this is lame, but I'm telling you I have been where you are; from sellng drugs to doing drugs, and from being in a gang, to running a gang. I was fighting my entire life until I got here to prison and discovered I was only destroying myself.
My brothers and sisters, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, stay in school. Educate yourself and pursue your dreams. You can be whatever you want in life no matter what other people think of you. Be a leader not a follower. Respect yourself and your parents. Stay away from drugs and guns. Violence will only take you two places: To prison and to death. Don't wait until you are in prison to think what you could've done. Be real with yourself and start making it happen now.

Stay in school and stop the violence.

1 comment:

cramm said...

I have one question: do the youth like Luis actually write these entries or are just quotes from the booklet?
can our comments be dialogues or support?
Last, I must confess my surprise when I asked for the booklet (a digital version would do it) and discovered that they are for sale. Could you please write an entry explaining this?

And, in case Luis may read this: thank you for your words, i sometimes wish society would accept that responsability the way you do. This is a two-way road. I have the feeling we also failed you and your family.