Friday, May 1, 2009

Eighteen Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp

It’s a new month and the last month I’ll begin as a prisoner.  There were times during this sentence when I felt so far away from the month of May.  My work carried me through.  Now we are here, and in eighteen more days I will walk on the right side of prison boundaries.

When I leave Taft Camp I want to feel totally free, cleansed of all the wrong that I’ve done and prepared to live the rest of my life as an honorable man.  This sanction has brought a measure of wisdom, a feeling of wholeness that did not exist before I wore a prisoner’s clothes.  I tried to express that evolution through my book, Lessons From Prison, and I hope to live up to those words I wrote.

The lessons keep coming, incidentally.  Indeed, I’ve decided to move forward with more consideration for the influence my words can have on the lives of others.  In the past, I have been completely forthright about the bad decisions I made as a stockbroker at Bear Stearns and UBS.  That honesty was necessary, I thought, in order to help white-collar offenders and students of ethics understand the gray areas of corporate culture, and the weakness that follows those who fail to make values-based decisions.

Upon leaving this prison term behind, I am completely committed to living an honorable life, and I encourage others to hold me accountable.  Yet in moving forward, I’ve come to the conclusion that in revealing the bad decisions I made, I don’t have to reveal the names of others who joined me in abandoning the principles of good conduct.  As I wrote in Lessons From Prison, a wise man is one who is secure in judging himself, yet tolerate in the judgment of others.

The pursuit of a values-based life means that I make good decisions, and that all of the decisions have root in honor.  I must strengthen my core, and to succeed in that endeavor, I must release all negative energies.  There can no longer be room for grudges, for petty jealousies.  I must move forward as a man of good character, wishing good will, happiness and success to all.

There is a power that comes with forgiveness, and I move forward with a clear heart.  I had once clung to beliefs that others had wronged me.  In retrospect, I realize that I am who I am and I am where I am because of the decisions that I made yesterday.  Today I am thinking of the man I strive to become tomorrow, and that requires a pursuit of excellent and good.  These are the empowering lessons I’ve learned from prison.

It is never too late to start preparing…Download Lessons From Prison Now to discover what is truly possible in federal prison.

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