Yes, hello, this is Mr. Eddie Treadwell, a prisoner in a Michigan correctional facility, Alger Correctional Facility that is. And I’m a prison reform activist who’s been working towards trying to create some form of reform here in Michigan Department of Corrections.
However, I would like to discuss today or express the discovery of forgiveness. I’ve been incarcerated for over 32 years now for individuals who robbed and killed my brother and I eventually ended up shooting one of the individuals and killing him in self-defense as they tried to kill me as well months later.
However, through this painful experience that’s frequent in our community, I come to realize that his mother looked like my mother. His sister looked like my sister. We’re all as one in this world. And it pains me deep to have to take a individual’s life. This is not something that people should have to experience.
The loss of a loved one and of taking the life of someone else’s loved one is a traumatic experience that one has to dig deep down in oneself to find some type of solution to the feelings that may emerge through this experience.
I have lost all my family members since I’ve been incarcerated besides a few nieces and nephews that I barely know of that I knew as a child. They barely know me now due to the separation. So I have to find a way to try to bring some type of sense to all of this.
But you can’t see clearly through the situation without having to discover a way to forgive yourself from committing the crime that you may have committed to come to be incarcerated. You have to find a way to forgive yourself and come to be more accustomed to forgiving others or asking others to forgive us for wrong that we have done.
Very rarely do we look deep inside ourselves and realize that it’s things about ourselves that we need to forgive ourselves for. And once this forgiveness begin to take place and you relieve yourself of the pain and frustration and regret and all these various different things that come to be a tumor on your body that eats at you every day. It was hard to function and see clearly and feel yourself as being worthy and valued and all these other various different things. So you have to forgive, not just yourself but have a sense of mind of forgiving. We say God is all forgiving. So we have the same attributes and tendencies within us to forgive.
So I would also like the mention that I would like to be forgiven for the wrongs that I have done to others, because a lot of times the acts that I have committed was done independently. It wasn’t a continuous pattern of behavior. Sometime we do things that we regret. Sometimes our actions is drug induced. So we have to- once we begin to see clearly, we have to try to make amends for our errors and our ways, enough to make a speedy reparation to the utmost ability and this reparations is done through your giving to others, to give and be kind to others now, to relieve yourself of the pain and hurt that you may have caused to others.
So now we turn be a asset and a benefit to all mankind, because we know how fragile this thing called life is. You know how easily it can be taken away. So we have to appreciate it, value it, and try to live the best life that we possibly can live while we’re here on earth.
I like to also apologize for my nieces, for my relatives who I couldn’t be there for. And they growth and development to try to teach and instruct them and guide them right in they lives. I’d like to ask the person who I committed the crime against, they family to forgive me for the crime that had happened. I would like to ask the world to forgive those who may have [inaudible] because we can’t live with the hate and pain within our hearts towards those who have victimized us.
We have to forgive them as though we would want others to forgive us for the things that we may have done. Forgiveness is not just a one awy street. Forgiveness goes in a circle. Everyone is forgiven. Everyone forgives in time. Sometime it may not be your time to forgive because it takes time to heal certain deep wounds. It takes time to discover the ability and power that you possess to forgive yourself and others. So take your time, make sure that this is what you want to do. The close you are to forgiving, the closer that it shows that you are to the God that you represent, because we know God is forgiven and you have the same ability to forgive as he does. So sometimes it takes time.
But you have the power to do that, and once you do that, you relieve yourself of the trauma and things that you may have been experiencing so you can be free of that. We have to free ourselves of the chain that’s been holding us down. It’s holding us back. You know, we’ve been carrying that chain around for a long time. It’s weight that we can do without so we soar and be our greatest selves. We all have the unlimited capacity for progress and growth within us, so we have to grow. We have to evolve. We have to move past certain things in our lives in order to live anew, be your best self, be an asset and a benefit to the world, to your family, to those that you come to contact with.
Love and joy is something that’s powerful. It’s something that we can encounter within our own minds. We have to direct our thoughts to this love and this joy. If we keep directing our thoughts to the pain and hatred then we’ll be in a negative mood. We need to love. They say love is the only savior of the world. So through this love, we can save ourselves from our thoughts and to save ourselves from this weight, this pain, this ball, this chain that we’ve been holding on to, dragging around for many years. And it goes on and on.
I haven’t rehearsed anything. I’m just coming from from the heart, because I think that God speak to man through man. I think the best that’s within me is coming out right now to you, so you can hear the words that I speak, have meaning and power behind them if you pay attention. So we have to pay attention to that which has the ability to aid and assist us in our time and need in life. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. And keep living.
My name is Mr. Eddie Treadwell. I’ve been incarcerated for 32 years in Michigan Department of Corrections, Alger Correctional Facility in Michigan. My prisoner number is 205017.
But you need to talk or discuss any problem, issue, or situation that you may have, feel free to contact me. We can try to find a way to bring you some solace, some peace, some relief. They say a lot of times when you’re physically incarcerated in prison. In society, people are mentally incarcerated, and in prison, they imprison themselves with they thoughts. We have to free ourselves, we have to break the chains. We have to free ourselves from these things that we’ve been imprisoned in our mind, and let it go. So you can start living again. So you can start anew.
Because life is too short. He who neglects this present loses all that he has. You. don’t have yesterday, and you don’t have tomorrow. So what you do have is right now. So we can’t neglect our present moment. We have to live the right now. We have to pay attention to the right now. With that, until our next time, ’til the next time, I leave you as I came: in peace.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.