PENSACOLA PRISON DISCUSSION SOCIETY.
A lawyer, a Doctor, a Banker and a Hedge Fund Manager at Pensacola Prison Camp sat around a roaring fire roasting sum ores and discussing the impacts their poor choices had on their children. Ok, that is a bit of a stretch. In reality, four white collar prisoners sat around an old picnic table outside their unit eating saltine crackers and talking about the struggles their children experienced as a result of their crimes. The conversation began because the Banker received a letter from his son. The son had been out of touch for several months and was very upset with his father. The son apologized in his letter for being so resentful and angry about his father’s choices. The Son stated that He was shocked and betrayed by his father’s crime and too embarrassed to discuss the situation with others. He said He felt the need to lash out at his Father. These are normal emotions that children feel when a loved one turns their world upside down. The son stated that He now understands that He is not defined by his Father’s poor choices. He also acknowledged all of the wonderful things his Father did for him over the years. He is now willing to forgive his Father. Of course, the Banker is ecstatic. Like many of the prisoners at Pensacola (including Me) He is hoping and praying that some people (especially family) forgive him and give him an opportunity to repair damaged relationships.
The conversation reminded Me of how angry and disappointed (rightfully so) my own son was when I told him about my crime. I will never forget that moment or the look on his face. My son has forgiven Me but I am sure that He holds lingering resentments for all of the adverse consequences He has endured as a result of My actions.
My future plans include a significant effort to make amends to everyone (especially my family). I suspect I will be working on amends until the day I die. No matter, it is simply the right thing to do and I want to do it. Furthermore, I must confess that I personally benefit from making amends because each positive gesture lightens the load of guilt and shame that I still carry.
P.S. The Pensacola Prison Discussion Society (PPDS) is planning on holding weekly events around the old camp fire. I look forward to sharing our future discussions with you.