It's a new year! A wonderful person told me that we shouldn't worry about the destination but instead, focus on enjoying the journey, moment by moment...I've been reflecting on those words a lot in recent days, because for too many years I've been so focused on the destination that I forget to enjoy any of the journey.
You may well ask, "Well, how can you "enjoy" the journey on death row, Randy?", and that's a fair question...This place does leave a lot to be desired, and there has been many times over the past 17 years where I've thought that death was preferable to a life in prison...But my thoughts have changed a lot recently; I now hold firmly to the belief that when a person in my situation can open their eyes and their heart, and realize that good things can and do happen, we can affect the people around us in positive ways...There is a way to live in these circumstances! My desire to see that through overrides any sense of capitulation or defeat. My life isn't over, and I can effect change now, in the present moment! This doesn't necessarily mean there aren't potholes and bumps in the road along the way - wreckage even! At some point I'll have to get out and fix a flat tire, change a wheel, and probably get a ticket or two for speeding. I'm not perfect, but whatever the destination is, I'll get there.
Over the entire holiday season I've been reflecting on so much. A big part of what I've been thinking about is the uncertainty of what 2018 will bring...Is it my last year on this planet? Is it anyone's last year on this planet? How do we know the answer to that question? My life is no more a guarantee than any human being's life, and those in the state who fight to see me killed are not guaranteed a single breath five seconds from now either. I just want to believe that the right thing will be done; that I won't be killed for something I didn't take part in. I believe in justice and I believe in punishment...But justice and punishment should not mean executing someone, and definitely not executing someone who did not kill anyone...I'll take my licks for the messed up stuff I have done, but a huge part of me refuses to accept being executed. That's where I hope that G-d, the universe, and everything, somehow at least gets that part right. I really need my prayers heard on that one - I need ALL the prayers I can get! I'll deal with whatever else comes after that.
For the coming year, I have many things I'd love to do - most of all encourage and inspire goodness, kindness, and change in an environment that is designed to do the opposite. 2018 holds so much promise! Not just for me but for the whole world, if we are open to it. People will push against hate. Women will rise up and finally have their voices heard. The oppressed (as is witnessed by a new revolution that has sparked in Iran as I write this) will finally push back. We don't have to accept politicians that deal in hate and ignorance. This has to be the year that all of that garbage is stopped in its tracks.
I've written about choosing kindness...and that's a step we should choose, absolutely; but we should also strive to be good. Don't give because a book tells you to do so; give because you should, and because it's the right thing to do. Don't be kind because someone tells you to, but be kind because you should. Don't do things out of a self serving interest, but do them because in helping another human being, you're helping humanity as a whole. Be kind, be good, but more than anything, focus on doing the right thing for one another. Nothing else should matter. I don't mean to sound like a Tony Robbins feel good speech but it just seems like the answer to this human question is so simple: Be a good and kind person!
I will close this entry with the positive feeling that 2018 will be full of good things, and that this will be a wonderful year. For everyone who has believed in me, even in my moments of mis-steps and my flaws; those who have encouraged me even if not directly, but by reading my thoughts through my journal, and to my very dear friends...Thank you! May you be blessed throughout this new year, and may you have the happiest new year possible. We will make it to 2019!