Talk to me.
Seriously. Give it a try. Talk to me. I’m a real person, I promise. Admittedly, I didn’t learn how to be a human being until I was 37-years-old. So if you haven’t spoken to me since then — or at all — by all means, let’s talk!
If you hate what I did, then you and I are on the same page. I hate what I did as well. However, if you hate me now because of what I did then, you need to reconsider. Because many will agree that, after two years in prison and even more years of therapy, I am not even a shadow of the person I once was.
But here’s the thing: It’s easier to harbor judgmental hate than it is to lend an ear of understanding. I mean, I don’t pretend to not understand why I am loathed to the extent I am. In a culture where hate and judgment prevail over love and understanding, I can’t pretend to be shocked that people refuse to know me now and would rather harbor their assumptive hate.
It is easier to hate than it is to love; hate is reactionary and reflexive, but love is inclusive and understanding.
Hate gives people a sense of superiority; knowing they have a reason to hate makes a person feel higher than the individual(s) they look down upon.
It is more within the capabilities of human nature to hate than it is to love.
That’s why people refuse to talk to me. That’s why people who used to be my closest friends refuse to take my calls, ignore letters and emails, and even block my writer pages on social media.
Why do people assume they can change for the better, but no one else can? Why do people assume that, after all I’ve been through — prison, therapy, recovery — I’m somehow the same person I was during the darkest hours of my life?
Perhaps we — as people — should re-evaluate the standards by which we hold our peers, compared to the standards by which we hold ourselves.
Simply put, do you really think I’m still that guy? If so, I challenge you to have a simple conversation with me.
Is it too much to ask for people to have a little integrity? I mean, seriously, how is it that I am the one occupying the socially-moral high ground right now? I’m not saying I’m better than anyone at all, but what I am saying is this: I possess the open-minded willingness to make amends with those I hurt; why are those whom I did not hurt treating me as though I did?
It’s this simple: You knew me — You don’t know me anymore. But since I knew you once upon a time, I would like to know you again.
Talk to me.
See what happens.
I might just surprise you.