The price of freedom is suggested as an eternal vigilance as the price of liberty. This means that those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. As such, it is important that we understand that the opportunity to take away someone else’s liberty by effectively making someone else a partial slave to oneself is a constant temptation. Thus, to retain our liberty, we must pay attention and make sure that that doesn’t happen. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of issues themselves before their situation becomes a problem. For example, if one does not properly prepare for what lies ahead, the things known or unknown, will still have an impact on their life. I dedicate this article to an unfamiliar set of men and woman who paid the ultimate price when they made poor choices which led them into being incarcerated.
Recently, I visited a few federal prisons to teach alternative to violence and was blessed by the hope and belief system these inmates held. In speaking with them, I realized many offenders were incarcerated from the age of 11 through 20 years old. Many were serving 1 to 2 consecutive life sentences; 30 to 50 years imprisonment; or a lesser sentence. As I taught on the power of transformation, I was blessed to see them responding to the lessons. It was amazing to watch the inmates poured out their souls to us. Given this privilege to serve to serve others has made me a better person. My travels led me to a beautiful individual at the Homestead Correctional Facility, who shared a self-written poem with me. I wish to share a small piece of her talent with you. Her name is Alisha Michelle and she has been imprisoned for the last 26+ years, and prays daily to see freedom again.
It seems like ages since the flowers bloomed
The pain still fresh since she left the room
Will it become dull? Will it go on?
Will ever I see a new day dawn?
A whisper so soft brushes my heart
My son, my baby, I never did part
I’ve walked right beside you
Since I’ve been made free
Not a moment has went by that I didn’t see
I’ve been holding your hand
Through your trial and your pain
I was hugging you tight
When they put you to shame…Alisha Michelle
For many offenders like Alisha, freedom is something they dream of every single day. Their mistakes torn them from communities, families, significant loved ones, and life. They are people just like us, who once loved, laughed, and lived, yet now they yearn for liberty. We who are “FREE” must take a page from their lives and live completely knowing that in this life we get only one chance. Let us never forget the sacrifice and struggle that produced the experiment in human freedom called the United States of America.