“I have nine brothers and sisters who live in Baltimore, but I was adopted and raised in Florida. The circumstances in which I grew up were very different from the trenches of Baltimore where my siblings grew up. The person who adopted me had a doctorate degree, while my biological mother had me at 14 or 15 and didn’t get an advanced education. My father is in my life now, but he wasn’t in the early stages. My oldest brother is currently doing 40 years in prison.”
“And what do you do for a living?”
“I work for the Reentry Initiative, which helps people get reintroduced into society after prison.”
“Why do you do it?”
“I’m very aware that I made it because someone else gave me a chance—my siblings were a lot less fortunate. I feel that I have an obligation to pay it forward.”
When people say, “I’ve never seen that side of him before” — I want to say, “You have another side too. We all do. You’re just hiding it today.”
It’s ugly to watch someone lash out, blow up, and melt down: but we are all just as capable of the same crimes and cowardice. Please don’t be too hard on others when their worst is exposed, and don’t despise someone whose worst is different than yours. We’re all a little crazy and we all need the same grace.