I just watched this Ted Talk by Shaka Senghor, a man who was in prison for 19 years for murder. He speaks of transformations, forgiveness, and atonement. But what struck me the most is his belief that his story of coming out of prison and becoming an integral part of society, should not be unique. He said, “Anyone can have a transformation if we create the space for that to happen.”
Everyone has the ability to change. Everyone should have to opportunity to prove themselves. Everyone should be given the chance to transform, apologize, and atone for their misdeeds.
As I think about this on a deeper level it occurs to me, this doesn't simply apply to incarcerated men and women. This concept can also be used to think about students who for whatever reason have challenged the status quo and have been kicked out of school, have been labeled as troublemakers, or sit quietly in the back of the classroom seething with impatience and bitterness and never hand in their homework.
Deep Root Center's fourth Guiding Principles states it best: How people behave under one set of circumstances does not predict how they will behave under a very different set of circumstances. ...When we change the approach, the structure, and the assumptions, all kinds of other changes often follow.
Give yourself the gift of watching and listening to this man and allow yourself to wonder