Mother's Day Rally statement from Carl Daniels

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This statement was written by Carl Daniels for the Mother’s Day Rally for Compassion, Healing, and Redemption that took place in Philadelphia on Friday, May 6.

One day while running around lost in the fog of Death by Incarceration, I ran into an old sage. He said, “Young man, why are you running around like that?”

I said, “My heart is full of hate and I can’t see where I’m going.”

The old sage whispered life-saving jewels into my ear and sent me on my way.

Later, I was moping around feeling depressed from thinking about the hurt that filled my life. I bumped into an old sage along the path of enlightenment. He said, “Young man, why is your countenance so low?”

I responded, “I’ve hurt so many people and have been hurt so much myself, I can’t help it.”

The old sage whispered life-saving jewels into my ear and sent me on my way.

On another day, I was venting about how much I didn’t care about what happened to others because so much had happened to me. An old sage slid up on me out of nowhere. He whispered life-saving jewels in my ear and faded on me as swiftly as he had come.

This particular night I was sitting alone in the yard pondering my sentence of Death by Incarceration and wondered what I should be doing. On the way in, an old sage walked up beside me. He said, “Young man, I see that look on your face, and I know just where you’re at right now.”

“Yeah, alright old head, we both on our way to a cell right now,” I responded sarcastically. The old sage leaned over and whispered life-saving jewels into my ear.

Years later I read a wisdom-filled book that taught me to be careful when entertaining strangers because I could be entertaining angels and not know it. I had to have been entertaining angels because their words sank into my spirit and changed me.

The first angel told me, “Let love be your guide, for only love is bright enough to shine through the darkness of hate. Be it yours or someone else’s.”

The second angel told me, “Let healing into your spirit, for the scars of life want to go away but can’t because you keep picking at them.”

The third angel told me, “Let compassion into your heart, for it is only in caring and concern for others that empathy can grow. This puts conscious brakes on bad behavior.”

The last angel told me, “Let redemption be your life’s goal. Spread love, spread healing, and spread compassion, for it is these things that are the keys to redemption.

So here I stand today, 28 years on the path of Death by Incarceration and I can say that I am whole. Despite a system designed to choke any good that shows itself in me, my goodness comes forth. I refuse to be bound as a man to a future I created as a boy.

To my sages – Diheem Smith, David Lee, Tom Roach, and Thorton Savage – I can’t thank you all enough for caring for me and my growth and development when I didn’t care enough for myself and didn’t know that I should.