Having spent over two decades in prison, the bulk of that in a hellish prison in Thailand, when I saw this come up on Martin’s Facebook feed this morning, it made me smile.
While all of his words below are inspirational, some in particular leave little doubt as to why or how we are friends! These are his observations after three weeks of freedom. I am so grateful he is my friend.
If what he writes doesn’t prove that a positive mind and attitude trumps all and that inspiration can be found everywhere, I’m not sure what would. Also: gratitude friends, gratitude.
Below is reprinted with his permission.
After three weeks in the real world here are some observations:
It moves fast.
It is expensive.
People no longer talk.
Screens are ruining human interaction.
People have become less patient (and I did not think they were all that patient in 1993).
Sydney is grubbier than I remember but still beautiful.
Cars move faster (or I have become slower).
The brakes on cars have improved a lot.
There is no “wack up” after you get out (and this was a surprise).**
Some old friends still look beautiful.
Some have aged faster than expected.
I feel blessed to be here but the economic reality of life is rapidly making its presence felt.
Food is now dangerous … it always was, but it effects me a lot now.
Choice is amazing, but shopping was a challenge initially (too much choice can be overwhelming).
The negativity one may have expected has come only from family and nobody else.
Kids are just amazing, I had never realised how clever kids are.
Patting dogs is really cool.
Technology is stunning.
The internet is fragmenting society (this has shocked me, I thought it would bring us all together, perhaps it will once we “grow up”. The internet is as old as I was when I went to prison!).
Lots of people seem to settle for 2nd best, out of fear of doing what they feel they should be doing (please know that I respect everyone’s choices, but life is more simple and important than many seem to think).
Time is not a renewable resource, like money. It is finite, precious and of an unknown quantity. Waste none (you know not how much of it you have).
Having said that, you have time to smile. You have time to appreciate the day and you walk to work. Taking a breath is NOT a waste of time!
Why does everyone seem slightly less healthy now?
People are more obsessed than ever with the acquisition of possessions (and coming from ME that is frightening). However, a $200 phone really is not as good as a $1,000 phone.
Home Wi-Fi is soooooo good.
Above all; STARS Baby! Stars in the night sky on a warm night are simply inspirational.
You think I will comment about sex but I won’t. If you have to ask, you don’t know me very well.
People think life is about the big choices (and I have a PhD in terrible choices) but it’s the small choices each day that determine everything. You don’t arrive at those massive choice moments, they develop over time. The only point is, are you being proactive or reactive?
Perhaps the most surprising observation is how NOT free many of you out here are.
This is actually great news. It proves a theory of mine, that freedom is NOT bound by geography or social position (or money). A rich law abiding man can be a prisoner as surely as a prisoner can be free.
In closing have you noticed how great it is to be alive NOW? Amazing challenges we face and never before have we been so able to meet those challenges!
We live in an inspirational time, but are we living inspirationally?
Are we brave enough to try?
I am. Watch me try!
** A wack up is a criminal term when you are given money after you are released.