Doing What’s Necessary VS Doing What You Want:¬†

Responsibility is what? Go ahead and answer that question. What is responsibility? Is it doing what is necessary to survive? Is it providing a quality of life? What is it and how do you define it?
If I had asked that question of myself 10 years ago, and taken it seriously, I would not be here today. However, I am not here to dwell on what happened, only to learn from it and move on. So I ask myself today, what does responsibility mean to me?
For me I have a duty, a responsibility, to fix what was broken inside. Many people tell me that I am a lost cause. They hear my charges and criminal history and suddenly I am no longer worthy of change. They think that change isn’t possible and once you cross a threshold you are no longer rehabilitable. Tell that to the millions of men and women who used to stick needles in their arms for addiction sake. The same ones who were rail thin and ghost pale and skin peeling like paper birch, who are now healthy and beautiful. Tell that to the people who grew up without shoes who now own multi-million dollar enterprises.
Go ahead and tell me that I can’t change and that I will leave this place with a good mouthpiece but my actions will be the same as they were a decade ago. Go ahead…
I am going to move on from that stigma. I don’t accept that summation. I don’t care if you don’t agree with me that I can change. Guess what, it’s not up to anyone but me. I recognized my problem and got help. I forced the issue of “why did that happen and how do I move forward to ensure it will never happen again.” Now I can say that I am no longer that man and I don’t give a rip who doesn’t think so.
I have a duty and a responsibility to myself and my family and anyone who struggled in the same area as me to not only change but to doggedly pursue anyone travelling down the same pathway. I KNOW what it took to over come that mentality and I can help others stop the process before they create a victim.

Responsibility is doing what you know is right. I know that preventing or attempting to stop another victim-based crime IS possible and I aim to do it. I know that I go on about LGBTQ rights a lot but these two are directly related. I refused to acknowledge my sexuality and it came out in some very bad ways. Anything was better then being gay, even a predator. I would rather be anything but gay. Once I accepted myself, things became very clear. Now I can say that years later here I am not perfect but able to stand. I can help others get there too. My path isn’t for everyone, but it is for someone…so is yours.¬†

With Love

Jeff Utnage 823469