September 21, 2017
I want to discuss the guy Kenny whom I sent home with the How Love Wins book. While he was next door to me we discussed many things. I shared meditation practice, sitting, walking even laying as I have learned so far. I first shared my book called “Mindfulness” which helped me in the beginning with regard to my meditation practice. After I got him started in meditation we had lengthy discussions with regard to his getting out and returning home. He lives with his grandmother – his mom and dad left him as a child and the grandmother was there to raise him. He had been strung out on drugs and robbed an older woman down his street. He was very apprehensive about being back in the old neighborhood and how he would be received. I tried to convey to Kenney that his grandmother would accept him with loving arms. I know he knew that because his grandmother always wrote him here, sent money when she could and offered her home as a place to parole to. I am not going to drag this into a minute by minute discussion but I emphasized to Kenney how important it is to show his grandmother how grateful he is and remains for all of the love and support she has shown him.
Our discussion lead us in many directions but I tried to express and impress upon him the importance of staying out of prison. I tried to impress upon him that the slightest mistake could violate his parole obligation and he would be thrown back in prison. So together we created a plan for Kenny to adhere to immediately (short term) upon release and then long term. I told him that he must not miss any dates set by his parole officer nor miss any urine test or even be late paying parole fees. I told him if he could not raise the 25.00 fee for a month and as a last resort, he was to write me and I would see to it he got the money to pay the parole fees. Maybe that was to much on my part but I felt I should offer. He has not asked and has assured me he should be alright with that. My second recommendation was to find an AA/NA support group to stay clean and sober. One dirty urine test and he’d be right back here. I also gave him the address and phone # to the closest priory I knew of in St. Louis MO. I told him they would lead him to one in Little Rock.
Now here is the crazy part – victim reprobation – I told Kenny that I’d like him to spend the first few weeks really looking for a job. I explained it would be hard but to really stay at it. I suggested that after 2 or 3 weeks I’d like him and his grandmother to approach the woman down the road that he had robbed. I wanted Kenny to not make any excuses but to apologize for his actions and offer to help the woman any way he could. Not for pay but as a kindful jester of love. I told Kenny the situation with this woman could lead to him having ill feelings, hurt feelings, or even resentment. All Kenny could do was try and if his offer was rejected not worry, if it was accepted not to worry. I explained this was all a part of healing for everyone. Kenny has been gone from here for 5 weeks and I got a letter from him today
Doug I have to check myself to keep me from being prideful but I am very tearful. Kenny says he is doing well, he has established himself with his parole officer, found a part time job (sacking groceries) and has been helping miss Rose (the woman he robbed). He says he is happy and he has all the “hope in the world” for his fortune. His grandmother Miss Brenda wrote a short passage thanking me for helping Kenny and told me I could and should write her anytime I wanted. Doug, I can take no credit for what he has done because everything I have passed on to him I got from you. And it is Kenny trying to improve himself that has him walking the path of mindful kindness. I realize that all you can do is point a person in the right direction and the rest is up to them. They wither “going going going on beyond” or they give up. It really is up to the individual and what he or she really desires out of life. They will either be a doer or a quitter.