Living Vs. Existing
By: Joseph Green
“EVERYONE HOLDS HIS FORTUNE IN HIS OWN HANDS, LIKE A SCULPTOR THE RAW MATERIAL HE WILL FASHION INTO A FIGURE……..WE ARE MERELY BORN WITH THE CAPABILITY TO DO IT. THE SKILL TO MOLD THE MATERIAL INTO WHAT WE WANT MUST BE LEARNED AND ATTENTIVELY CULTIVATED.” – JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
At some point in life we must ask the question: Are we living or merely existing? In prison they say many of its residents are merely existing. Existing, according to Webster, is the state of simply being or to achieve the basic needs such as food and shelter. The MDOC provides its current residents with these basic needs. Which leaves many with the notion that they no longer strive to live. That nothing has to be obtained or worked towards. Many men and women within these walls are merely existing because their environment has taken their drive to live. They have their basic needs met, so what else do they have to live for. They have allowed their prison sentence to rob them of their light and right to live. Living is defined as active or thriving; being alive. Having purpose.
In my personal opinion living can be done at any moment and from anywhere. Despite my current conditions, I haven’t allowed this system to rob me of living my life. Like the light in a lighthouse that guides ships on a darken ocean. I to can be the light and inspiration to someone. My struggle can be used as a light to others who travel the dark oceans known as life. Defeat only happens when you give up, however, living is when you fight and turn your struggle and defeat into strength and light for others.
Being active and living with a purpose shows others that despite your current circumstances your light can survive and shine bright in the midst of darkness. By seeking further education, new hobbies, and gaining a greater understanding of who you are… you learn to live with purpose and passion. You learn to live and not merely exist in these confines. You realize that you hold your future in your hands. Learning that you still have a choice to live or exist. For they can hold your body but not your mind. Which do you choose? I know I choose to live beyond these walls and allow my light to be the guide to others. No matter what you’re going through, strive to live and not merely exist.