My prison pen pal and friend Thomas Porter sent me two more powerful pieces of writing. I can find no better word to describe them, powerful is what it always is. Short essays by inmates are usually raw and straight from the soul, without any barriers and able to convey exactly what they intend to convey, much better than anyone who writes an essay according to all the studied rules, using an organizer, etc. Unity can be Disunity and How to Deal with Regrets are the results of Thomas’s raw writing.
Both pieces are very short. I especially liked the first one, but the second one also made me think. I hope you like Thomas’s work as much as I do, and if you enjoyed it, please feel free to share it with friends and family on social media.
What Does Unity Look Like These Days?
Since the Black Lives Matter movement and many other movements that followed to offset what each is striving to say, I have seen that there’s No Unity!
I am living within a prison culture where Unity is only transformed into Let’s Unify in Hate & Racism… I listen to both sides speak on why there could never be Unity amongst the races and there is only ignorance holding both sides back…
One person told me the white man is my enemy and I asked why? He gave an answer that was wrapped in bullshit because they made us slaves… Now I ask you, readers, should all White people pay for the sins of their ancestry? Just as the same could be asked of Black people whose ancestry has overthrown black people in power to enslave the poor blacks or uneducated…
Yet we seek Unity amongst our own kind as I’ve been told. Yet, tell me what does our own kind truly look like? People in government and who hold the true money don’t see you as their own kind.
On the other hand, I’ve been told I don’t seem black enough because of how I speak or what I read and because of the music I choose to listen too, So I am not a part of own kind Unity somehow … but where does one find Unity amongst the Unified Hatred Movements? or the Let’s Keep Focus On The Past & Blame Every Wrong Action Made By Whites … While not focusing on Our Actions that gave our freedoms and wells to these people as we solve nothing in prison reform…
Unity means continuity without deviation or change as in purpose or action… Or A condition of harmony!
How can one be harmonious without healthy Unity? I’ve experienced White people place character, money, and time on the line to keep me alive long enough to be a part of Virginia’s abolishment of the death penalty, I’ve only seen two black spiritual advisers in my 14 years come sit with me in the darkest circumstances I’ve ever faced powerless, I was never shown compassion in that court nor given someone Black enough to defend me.
Yet throughout this journey many white people have shouldered my burdens and enabled me to be healthy minded on the next part of this journey,
I desire healthy Unity but I know that within this prison culture I won’t find it, So I ask today members of #TeamStayStrong! & #TeamStayHealthy! Let’s form healthy minded Unity Voided of Racism….
How many of us have them? My first regret was not loving myself enough to know the sum of what I gave of myself didn’t add up to the whole so that I could see value…
My regrets are now windowless surrounded by wire frame forms of hate and confinements on the edge of my soul.
The tears I damn myself not to show find release nevertheless and in those moments I hate myself because the weight of my own reality is an enormous burden to carry and yet I am learning to live with the coldness of regrets, to never feel warmth or see Hope in its beautiful colors of Freedom.
Regret to me is like having every insecurity or fear exposed for people to judge negatively while finding me deserving of harshness, and punishments on levels they themselves couldn’t endure…
I’m starting to see regrets not allowing me to heal nor find peace of mind in the pieces that I call My Life! How can I shed them to be healthy? How can I keep living with no voice for the pains I’ve inflicted and received? How is it I’m seen and invisible at the same time?
The older I get the louder my volumes of regrets seem to speak into the silence I seek to rebuild myself. Is regret another word for never ending?
Regrets. How many of Us have them?
By Thomas Porter
Thank you for reading these powerful written pieces by Thomas Porter. What he writes shows that we are not and can never be defined as a person by the worst thing we did in life. We all make mistakes. We all deserve redemption, forgiveness, and a new chance at life.
Punishing someone every single day for the rest of his life for the terrible mistake of his youth makes the punisher just as bad as the offender, I would say that it makes the punisher even worse.
Why do we blind ourselves to true human nature and only focus on the mistakes others did? We can do 10 great things and just 1 mistake. You can bet that everyone around you will focus on that 1 mistake, and that is exactly how it is done in prison, a permanent, continuous punishment of the mind, and there is no worse punishment than the one on the mind. I always wonder with what right we deprive people of their dignity in the name of justice.
There are consequences for every crime, but they should never include attacks on one’s dignity and self-worth, on the essence of human nature. Have you read more of Thomas’s poems and essays?
And if you did, would you say that this man deserves to have his dignity taken away through random and ill-intended actions that are based on something he did 15 years ago? I don’t think so. I think it is time that vengeance gets a hard kick in the butt and is sent flying out of prison staff’s modus operandi and that redemption takes its place, becoming a part of the prison system. There are people who deserve redemption and forgiveness, Thomas is one of them.
Thank you so much for sharing these articles and your final comments. I am sharing them with family members and friends. I believe people can redeem themselves and that, as you say, one mistake doe not define who a person is.
We need more forgiveness in society. I know it is hard, but without forgiveness, we will live long, bitter lives void of love and contentment.
I have a shirt that I love. It says “Live with egrets, not regrets”. An egret is a lovely wading bird with wispy, lace like plumes. In other words, learn from and move on from your regrets and be content with the beauty of nature.
Thanks again for sharing Thomas’ essays. I always enjoy reading them and I hope one day his actions will be redeemed in the eyes of the law and humanity.
Egrets are beautiful, elegant birds and I sometimes see them here; I always love to see them. I love the slogan on your T-shirt and the meaning behind it.
I am happy that you enjoy reading Thomas’s essays and I will share your comment with him. I’m sure that it will make his day 🙂
Thank you for your comment!
“Punishing someone every single day for the rest of his life for the terrible mistake of his youth……..” I would say that this is insanity! Do the people who are responsible for this think that people never learn anything?
I believe that fifteen years of regret locked away from the chance of a normal life, while others are ‘outside,’ would be enough to change anyone’s heart and make them view life as a gift.
The ‘divide and conquor’ mentally employed by our governments, mass media, and educational institutions, I believe is a technique learned from the ancient Romans. They used it to keep people fighting against each other so that they were too preoccupied hating others who were not like them so they would not see the corruption from the very same institutions….
I agree with Thomas that ‘unity’ for a cause is actually disunity in disguise.
Thanks for sharing
It seems to be so, doesn’t it, that people who are responsible for the justice system seem to think that people never learn anything … Revenge instead of rehabilitation and redemption, treating prisoners the way they they would never like to be treated.
Divide and conquer, we see it all the time, don’t we? True uniting as we should is hardly ever done. As Thomas says, there is so much disunity in unity.
Thank you for comment! I will pass it on to Thomas 🙂
It’s tough to have a say on racial matters. Whilst there are people who are trying to bridge between, the discord levels are different and some are not able to past that. He writes beautifully and I can absolutely imagine his ‘in the middle’ position.
There’s this quote, ‘People will always remember your one mistake, not a thousand good things u did to them.’
15 years is a long time to punish someone. What can ever be replaced for that man’s loss time when he’s released?
I wonder if there should there be a better way to make a person redeem himself for that 1 mistake. I do believe some are let off on early release for good behaviour. I wish him the best.
And thank you for sharing.
I also hope that one day he will get his freedom. Thomas writes indeed beautifully and I am always happy to share his work and get the word out about him.
Thank you for your comment!
Hi Lila, Felt very inspired the last time I read Thomas’s work through your previous post. It was good to read more of his words. I get the feeling he is very philosophical and it is quite interesting how powerful pieces of writing like this can feel to the reader. Quite enjoyed reading this today and will look forward to reading more. Best regards; Alex
That’s wonderful that you enjoy Thomas’s writing! Thanks for stopping by again 🙂
I admire his writing, especially the second one that gets me thinking a lot through his powerful words. Fifteen years is long enough for someone to pay for what he had done in the past, and we should allow people to have 2nd chance to redeem themselves from the mistakes. People always remember one mistake instead of 100+ good things that you did to them. So, maybe not just the court, we ordinary human beings need to adjust the mindset a little bit on this.
Yes, 15 years is a very long time … with authorities that are blinded to redemption and focused on putting imprisoned men through things they wouldn’t want anyone else to do to them …
Mindsets must indeed change, urgently.
Thank you for your comment!
I found this very touching to read. I rarely hear or read of the accounts, thoughts and feelings of prisoners. This was both heartfelt and raw.
It is so sad that inside the prison culture this “unity” is created by unifying in Hate and Racism. These are sad, sorry emotions that will never give anyone peace.
We should all be looking for understanding, forgiveness and love. Some inmates have a long way to go – or perhaps this is the culture there. It was heartwarming to read those seeking forgiveness and redemption. Everyone deserves this providing they are genuinely remorseful, changed and committed to loving others and not the hate etc
I agree, everyone deserves forgiveness and redemption providing they are genuinely remorseful and committed to loving others, not hate. Thomas is that man now and I hope that his jailers will have the heart to take of their blinders and see the man he is now.
Thank you for your comment!
Wow, it doesn’t matter what skin color we have; what matters is unity! Black lives matter is a group sponsored by George Soros, who only tries to divide people.
But we are not being separated because we are one in the eyes of God, the creator. So, don’t give in or fall prey to billionaires who try to govern and divide the world. Thomas, you are very valued! You are a human, like all of us!
God is good! We are one! 🙂
Thank you, Sylvia. I’ll pass this comment on to Thomas 🙂