In recent years, it has been my desire to become involved in a community of people that are forgotten because of their imperfections. I know this desire is not a new aha moment, because it has always been buried deep inside of me for over 25 years. You see, I have a passion for helping others, no matter what their misfortunes or mistakes were, I know that I have always wanted to help. I started business school when I was 18 and knew I wanted to work in law as a legal secretary. Unfortunately, that was not how my path widened, but I did work in two different law firms during my business school days and was drawn to the stories of how people were driven to protect themselves from someone else. Usually, it was a crime driven case or a divorce, but even the divorces were filled with stories that would make you cry. I remember one of the legal secretaries telling me I was never to read any pages of a particular file because of the horrid details that led to the messy divorce and how much crime was embedded into the file. Secretly I had wanted to read every sordid detail because I was intrigued and loved the mystery, but I know this story was not a fictional story, it was real life. And the attorney’s I worked with were defending the criminals because they believed that everyone had a story and they could change. Fast forward, I always believed that I should be in law because I believe that everyone deserves a second, third and even fourth chance at changing their lives and that is probably why I believe in the mission of Fail Safe-ERA. When you bridge the gap of learning how not to separate yourself from helping others, you find yourself understanding more about people and what drives them. It isn’t always a desire to get something that is not theirs or an attempt to intentionally do something wrong, it is often an act of desperation that results in committing an act that has repercussion. When a person wakes up in the morning, I am sure their first words of the day are not going to be, I want to spend the rest of my life in prison or I want to destroy myself and my family. The motives are not to hurt themselves or others, it may be a survival instinct or a desperate cry of need.
When you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, they will have a history, just as you have a history. They will have pain, just as you have suffered pain and they will have a future, just as you are working towards your future. Acts of the past do not define today because you have the wisdom to make a conscious choice to change every single day. Here’s my plea to you. Stop looking at the clothes, shoes and hair and start looking at the person and hearing their words and their hope for a future. Many have a great need to share their story, but are afraid to tell because of what others might think of them. Life is about loving others, not creating bridges to separate.