Tis The Season…
Now mind you, I am by no means a very religious person…more spiritual, I suppose, but today I had the opportunity to reflect on my life and appreciate all that I have. As much as I hate using the word “blessed”…I felt that way today. Not blessed for the things I have because I have worked hard all of my life for them, but blessed to receive the opportunities that I have taken advantage of to get these things and even more blessed to gain insight every day onto new things that help me to broaden my horizons and define my own being.
Today I hit google to conduct a search on someone I have heard about in tons of context but never knew the full back story on. I came across an article written in the Washington Post almost a year ago and it brought me to tears for a couple of reasons. I found myself reading an article on a man named Tony Lewis…. Tony Lewis, Jr., that is. For those of you who do not know, Tony Lewis Sr. was a leader in one of the most lucrative drug businesses in the DC area back in the day. Although I do not know all of the details on this case, I know that he is now two decades deep into a life sentence, and this is some real life shit. Moving on…. The article was wonderfully written about his son. A hero to many, Jr. grew up without his father from the time he was 8 and matured into a well-mannered, educated individual determined to change the image his name has been historically known for. While I was reading this story, I could only imagine how it must have felt to have your heart ripped out as a child by losing a parent to the justice system. Mind you, I can’t stand to see my mother cry, let alone see her behind bars for the rest of her life. Anyway, the article talks about how Jr. has used his education to work for various government agencies in attempts to help former inmates and felons regain their footing and get back into the work place; lending a hand to those that have served their time and are struggling to simply co-exist in a society of people who are ahead of them in more ways than one. Such wonderful, selfless, and sometimes difficult deeds being done by someone who I am sure many thought would follow in the footsteps of his father (albeit his father’s predicament may be one of the best things that could have ever happened to his son). It made me tear up thinking about what a wonderful man he has developed into. Granted, I have only met him very briefly twice, but the fact that I have heard bits and pieces of his story and came face to face with a man that was anything but a thugged out drug dealer gave me the impression that he has used his past to better his future….and those of countless others (including my own).
I am grateful this Christmas season. Grateful to read articles like this and learn about people like Tony Lewis Jr. Reading this warmed my heart and put me in the holiday spirit. Why? Well, it’s good to know that there are still great hearts out there in a world filled with hate and greed. To read a little about his background and see where he is now was inspiring; he could have quit….could have resorted to what he was exposed to in his community growing up, but he didn’t. I also began to think about his father and their relationship. Their bond must be crazy; Unconditional love no matter what he has been accused of. That type of love is exactly what made me think of my closest friends and relatives and put a smile on my face. Those are the people I want to be surrounded by…not just this season, but for the rest of my life. Blessed, I am. Blessed to grow and mature a little bit more everyday by seeing the people around me doing things that remind me to stay grounded and focus, not on the material things, but on the intangible lessons they exhibit.
I am officially ready to head north for the holidays…with a new perspective….that’s more than I could have ever asked for this Christmas.
Please read the article—- > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/30/AR2010013002446.html
And also follow Tony Lewis Jr. on Twitter (@MrTonyLewisJr) for any opportunities to give back to the community. Thanks.