I am very popular here in this prison. People who don’t know me get nervous when meeting me for the first time. It makes me feel weird because it doesn’t make sense to me, regardless, it happens anyway. 

I championed a cause here that many of them watched unfold very publicly. Those that didn’t watch first hand heard stories. The whole institution anticipated our first meeting. Which happened. Though, I wasn’t happy with it initially because I seen it going differently then what happened in reality. But my original goal was reinforced when everyone looked to me for how they should respond to it. I was unable to hide my disappointment. 

It took a few days to get focused again, but I did and now I am as excited as ever. Because even though it didn’t go as planned, it did happen. Literally, a thousand people told me it would never happen. But it did…

Having said that, I am getting prepared to continue to work for my goal. But because I didn’t get this immediate, magical, successful group that went over flawlessly some took it as my failure and the hen coup began to cluck.

Imagine my surprise when suddenly I become a failure in so many peoples eyes again. I never even thought that other people would be emotionally invested enough to say negative comments about me. But its happening. The good news is this, I know exactly how to handle negative and doubtful people. I won their support once and it won’t take long to do it again. Support is not what I need though. What I need is for them to realize that they need one another. That we need one anothers compassion and shoulders and empathy.

One by one I have been speaking to those who have been to chatter about me. I am reminding them of my original goal, which was to bring them together so that tough issues can be discussed as a sort of family. Then I remind them that nothing changed and that we have no time for backbiting and murmuring amongst each other. One by one they are realizing two things. One, that I still love and respect them, even when they talk crap about me and two, I am not giving up on my goal which includes them.

Sometimes we can silence a few of the haters. Sometimes you cannot. But it cannot hold you back from your life. Your life must go on. The more determined you become about your goal, the more passionate and driven you become the more people hate it. Not because of you, but because they cannot decipher where your drive is coming from. So they chatter. 

In my case its the ones who are chattering that I am building a community for. I love them anyway and its not something they are used to. Unconditional friendship. But its exactly what I will give them because its what they need, its what we all need. Someone to look past our mistakes and see our true nature which is loveable. This is true of everyone, not just those in here. When the trolls come, tell them you love them…

With Love
Jeff Utnage