It has been an interesting week. Serendipities about writing and choices.
First, I read Frank Britt’s article about how we write our own life stories and have the ability to change our paths. Then, Anne Mitchell wrote a comment in response, mentioning a Jeff Bezos idea that we are the sum of the choices we make. It reminded me of a conversation with him many years ago.
Then, I picked up a New York Times bestseller, Shaka Senghor’s Writing My Wrongs. A convicted murderer and former drug dealer, Shaka served many years in jail. It was riveting. Anne had heard Shaka speak at the MIT Media Lab and Lab director Joi Ito wrote the book’s forward and how he met Shaka.
Such a small world.
Shaka’s book is about the power of rewriting your life story to find forgiveness and resolve to improve one’s life. He wrote numerous letters in prison, including one to the murder victim’s family.
He also wrote about all of the horrible abuse he experienced as a child and while in prison. He wrote about being in solitary confinement for over four years and the complete madness that overtakes some prisoners in that situation.
Shaka unflinchingly named all of the bad decisions he made. He started to forgive the abusers. All that gave him the resolve to change his life.
And, he most certainly has. Redemption in spades.
His book is important. Please read it.
2 thoughts on “Redemption and Shaka”
Shaka spoke recently with Ben Horowitz of A16Z about the “War on Drugs” and what has happened with mass incarceration in America. His story, the one he is telling, now is also opening up the discussion about what is happening in prisons across America.
Thank you for pointing that out. I saw you Tweet about it, listened to the podcast, and that’s what led me to buy Shaka’s book.
Small world, indeed.