"Prison is an 'absolute'
in every sense of the word - every sense you might imagine. It is negative, as you would expect, but profoundly positive, if you allow."
We cannat determine what happens to us, but we always determine what happens in us!
"JM is a stirring writer who seeks to motivate his audience with passion and power wielding the pen to 'jump start the heart' much like an artist applies a brush for the same purpose. Ironically, he learned to feel deeply and to express those feelings in a most unusual setting . . . "
He writes: "There is a circumstance in my life that may forever define me. To speak of it requires my deepest, most awkward confession . . . that is I served time in Utah State Prison for 'securities fraud'.
It was the ultimate consequence for sacrificing my integrity and ignoring my moral compass for many years. It was a time of shame, penance, critical self-assessment, and rigorous honesty. Fortunately, it has resulted in my growth, progress, and transformation. It was a brutal and complex experience and is hard to describe, even for a writer . . .
Charles Dickens' classic opening from "A Tale of Two Cities" depicts, for me, the paradox of prison life:
"‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age
of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was
the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the
other way . . .’ "
Believe me, I learned well from this enigmatic existence.
Prison is an "absolute" in every sense of the word - every sense you might imagine. It is negative, as you would expect, but profoundly positive, if you allow. There, I learned that we cannot determine what happens to us but we always determine what happens in us! When referring to that time I have often said: 'I wouldn't trade the experience for a million bucks nor repeat it for the world!'
But it exacted an exquisite price . . . it simply cost me everything! Still, it was my conscious choice to allow the singular dynamics in that extraordinary place, to strip away the dross and remake my character with as much integrity as I could process. The procedure was fantastic and an irony of remarkable proportions.
It is my belief that an authentic, internal change for good is the most ‘'impossible'’ miracle that one might hope to have. I thank Heaven for such a change, because I feel Heaven is the exclusive source of this rare "metamorphosis." I embraced my commitment to it from the very beginning and remained dedicated to it throughout my time "inside."
My ultimate desire was to try to repair the damage to the people that my stupid, selfish actions had hurt and then to reconcile with the 'loves of my life' who had stepped away during that confusing time. This continues to be my primary motive and the source of my deepest sadness and greatest joy. With this motivation, I learned to feel and explore these feelings and subsequently to record my discoveries.
During moments of clarity it is fascinating and profoundly ironic to note that it was my awful, myopic choices that resulted in this period of '‘time out’' that produced my greatest shame and sorrow but also eventually resulted in the very means for a life of integrity. It was to become my resource for all future successes and victories.
Is it any wonder that I readily acknowledge that it was this singular circumstance that has come to define me? It has absolutely confirmed that: ‘good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of poor judgment: If that's not a life definition ... I'll never know one!
Currently, I am working at bringing seven manuscripts, (including a novel), a movie screenplay, several life-skills curriculum, including a 36-week educational system, and three illustrated manifestos into fruition. It is most challenging and more gratifying than I can say.
Joyfully, the adventure continues . . .”