I’ve been pretty busy, lately. Very busy in fact. Busy enough that I’ve even engaged in a meeting with an engineering director at Google to talk about what good things we can do together within the last week, to be exact (I’ll explain this in later writings). And, I’ve been a little too busy to write the way I would like. Ruthie put me on a book yesterday that I have to (would like to) finish by Saturday morning (I won’t, but god damn it, I’ll swing the bat and try). And lots of meetings and organizing projects. And work… lots of that. But I think its OK, because being this busy in prison makes sense to me. It means that I’m not doing anything to waste my time, your money or doing crap to let society down. It makes my life resemble your life, so when the day comes and I’m your neighbor, penciling me in for coffee will be just as monumental for both of us. Because I, like most of you, will have shit to do.

This leads me to discussions I’ve had guys who routinely wake up at 10am, eff off all day, and then watch TV until the wee hours, just to do it all over again, day after day. They say they aren’t coming back to prison upon release. I have to challenge them as to what job they could possibly obtain where effing off and wasting daylight was accepted. Then they tell me that they don’t have any skills, so it doesn’t matter. It does matter. It matters to everyone. I want them to challenge themselves to get skills, to get motivated and to get right with life. If an inmate can’t get right, he (or she) gets left behind and failure becomes an old friend. “There, there… Its OK that you won’t amount to shit because you didn’t try…”

But, I also know of free world people who struggle with this same thing. DO SOMETHING WITH YOURSELF! If some shithead in prison can host a meeting with an executive from Google, you can manage to do the things that you want that will build up your human capital. Do them! And if it gets a little chaotic and you think you can’t balance the schedule, slow down, breathe, think deep about your personal boundaries and limits, and push them ever so slightly to achieve beyond your own imagination. Life is pretty damn short, so get right! Because if you don’t, you only get left…

by Rory Andes

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