Struggle

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“If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time.  We only have to observe it with love and attention.  If we take care of our anger in this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself.  This is peacemaking.  If we are peaceful in ourselves, we can make peace with our anger.  We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear, or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step

Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.

Malcolm X's Alma Mater - Books.

Malcolm X was a criminal.  He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything.  He ran numbers.  He sold drugs.  He worked as a pimp.  Then he moved up to armed robbery.  He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.

Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen.  He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him.  In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.

He got ten years.  It was February 1946.  He was barely twenty-one years old.

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“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.  There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery.  From struggle comes strength.  Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Poem from Jamesy Boy – A Young Man’s Resolve to Keep Moving Forward in Spite of Incredible Life Challenges

Poem from Jamesy Boy

In my mind, there’s a boy who exists in chains.

Inside a cold, dark room of painful solitude is where he will remain.

Behind these walls, the sorrow is inevitable, as relentless as the passage of time.

Mentalities corrupt and dark, brainwashed, and hopelessly blind.

Prisons are packed with crowded spaces, lifers and guards with hollow faces.

Shackled hearts afraid of changes, and weakened wills become complacent.

Yet, I maintain with patience, time can limit but not shatter my will, strength blazed across my chest as solid as penitentiary steel.

But the silence speaks, it tells me all I need to hear, it confirms my beliefs and its promises I have to fear.

It reminds me that without freedom, I’m alone.

And these whitewashed walls don’t make up for blackened souls.

I’ve given 95% of my boys a handshake than a pound, before they were either locked down or buried off in cemetery grounds.

What I’ve done is who I am, but who I am is what I do now.

I won’t let up or cease to fight.

Just time, I plan on doing it right.

And what’s right lies within me.

I’m learning to appreciate my struggle for it would be hard to find the joy of accomplishment without it.

We live and we learn.

We rise and we fall.

Like the heartbeat of a sleeping giant, with bittersweet dreams.

Stay up, never down.

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More:  Poems  //  Resources on Starting Fresh

Watch:  Jamesy Boy [2014]

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