Category Archives: Turning One’s Life Around

Helping the Less Fortunate Was What Saved Him, He’d Paroled from Drunk-Driving…Didn’t Need to Get Back in the Cage Again

Gotten away, with jail time, because of what he’d been doing, after his last release from the jail systems, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A man, Lai rode out on his scooter drunk one evening last year, was caught by the police, and because he is still on probation, he was sentenced to two months for public endangerment, he was displeased, filed for an appeal. The judge reviewed his records, and found that since his release, he’d been helping the less fortunate, taking care of his elderly parents, that if he were sent back to prison to serve his remaining terms, he wouldn’t be able to commit himself to not-for-profit work, and, changed the ruling that he didn’t need to serve any time.

The fifty-year-old Lai because of illegal substances, was sentenced to fifteen years and stripped of his government position, two years ago he was released on parole, there are still three more years of parole he had left. Last October, he was drinking beer at a food shop in Chang-An E. Road, then, he got on his motorcycle, rode home in the midnight hours, and the police stopped him, his breathalyzer shoed 0.27mL, the D.A. filed a public endangerment suit and asked for a simplified verdict, the judge gave him two months, and that he’d needed to pay a $10,000N.T. fine.

Lai was displeased and filed for an appeal, claimed that he couldn’t make the last train, and he was worried that his mother might get too worried, that was why he’d ridden his scooter out.

After the judge reviewed his statement, he believed, that although Lai wasn’t supposed to ride out drunk, but he had originally planned to take the train back to his home in Shulin, but missed that last train, and felt rushed to get back home so his own mother would worry, that was why he’d ridden his scooter, that his mindset was different from those who got behind the wheels after they were drunk, that it would be too harsh, if he’d received the minimum sentence.

The verdict pointed out, that after Lai’s release, he’d helped trained the handicapped individuals to work in janitorial positions, and he worked very hard at it, took care of his aging parents, brought positive influence to the community, that he’d kept himself in check after the parole, and worked in nonprofit.

The judge believed, that Lai’s breaking his parole by drunk driving, if his parole was retracted, he would have to head back into prison to serve the remaining four years nine months, and he’d considered the degree of his crime, and he was already fifty, and still able-bodied to give back to the community, “If he is sent back to prison, how would he be able to give back to the community like he is doing now?”, and rather than sending him back to prison, he should be released, to help the community like he’d been doing.

And, because of this man’s pouring himself into volunteering for the not-for-profit organizations, that is why he was able to get a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, and, the judge considered, that he was rushing home, so his aging mother wouldn’t be too worried, and that there wasn’t any other viable forms of transportation available to him, that was why he’d gotten on his scooter, and rode out drunk.

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Filed under Crime & Punishment, Everyone Else's Fault, Improper Misconducts, Life, Properties of Life, Slaps on the Wrist, Turning One's Life Around

He’d Shown an Immense Talent in Playing the Traditional Chinese Instrument in Prison, Learned, that His Own Father is a Professional Musician Too

Helping these inmates, find a motivation to get better at something, so they won’t return to their old ways after being released, from the Newspapers, translated…

Yesterday, the Cultural Department of Hualien went into the Hualien Penitentiary to host a certification program of the street performers for the inmates, “Yang” an inmate received good comments for his piano skills. He’d started getting into music after he’d started serving time, and fell in love with piano, and after he’d started taking the lessons, he’d, learned that his own father had earned the championship trophy for piano skills, and, as his father named him, he’d used what made him glorious, the piano, as a character in his name, and he’d hoped, that after his release, he can use the piano, to start off on a new page in his own life.

“Yang” is thirty-five years old, at age 25, he’d made the wrong moves, had planned out a kidnapping ransom, was sentenced to twenty-four years; five years ago, he was, transferred to the penitentiary in Hualien, and went into the Chinese instrument playing program, and because the Yangqin wasn’t played by anybody, he’d started picking it up, and, loved the sound.

the instrument looks like this, photo from online…查看來源圖片

Later he’d learned from his family, that his own father who’d passed, was a professional yangqin player too, and had earned the championship trophy in Guangzhou.

“As I’d played, I’d often thought about my father.”, Yang, who’d gotten his name from the instrument told, that as his father named him, he’d already, passed this glory to him, “I can’t let my father down”.

Yang still has two more years until he’s up for parole, he hoped to pass the certification for the street performers, and, after his release, hoped to play as a single or in a group, and go to the nursing homes to perform for the residents, to give back to the community.

Another thirty-six-year-old, “Lei”, got involved in drugs when he was younger, and, he was convicted for robbery, sentenced to fifteen years, and, learned to sketch in prison, he’d picked up the art skills, and had already, kicked his drug habits now, he will be up for parole this year. He said, that taking up art had helped his parents accept him more, and, his work hung all over his home. He’d signed up for the certifications program, hoping that after his release, he gets to go home to open up an arts workshop.

So, these are, two examples of men, who’d, worked hard, to overcome their pasts, and, they’d, found viable skills, and they now have goals that they’d hoped to achieve, and, hopefully, this will keep on driving them, after their release from prison.

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Filed under Choices, Maturation, News Stories, Overcoming Obstacles, Properties of Life, Substances Abuse, Things Left Behind, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf, Values, Wake Up Calls

Mr. Coffee Who Managed to Turn His Own Life Around

Translated…

The very last session of the semester, I’d had a barista, to come to my class, to speak to my students about his life.  He’d opened with something, that shocked all of my students.

Compared to the past guest lecturers, who’d ranted on the glories of their work, this barista told my students, that he’d only had a technical high school degree, worked as a bar boy, a construction worker, a parking attendant……anything that makes him the money, he’d done.  He’d once lived, a life of carelessness, until four years ago, by a chance encountered, he was introduced to coffee, learned to make coffee, and to taste it too.  This, was not only the turning point in his life, it’d also made him the top barista at a certain coffee house.

In order to keep his taste buds sharp, he’d decided to quit drinking, and smoking too, and, he’d stopped eating the foods that may damage his own taste buds as well, and altered his own diet too.

When he’d made the coffees at the bar, he’d often needed to get engaged in conversation with his customers, had, through the cups of coffees he’d made, it’d shorten the distances between him and others as well.

He’d talked of how he and I met up, it was, an afternoon shortly after school had started, I’d walked out of the research lab, carrying my bad mood with me, I’d entered into a nearby café.  It was, a modern place, with the bars.  I’d never sat at the bars, that day, I’d especially wanted to try it out, and because of my wanting to try sitting at the bars, I’d met this coffee man.  I’d struck up a conversation with him, and enjoyed the way he looked, making the drinks, and, each and every cup he’d made became a perfect work of art of his.

I’d asked him, “Can I take a picture?”, Mr. Coffee said, “I’m more than happy to oblige, and you can also, video record me too.” All of a sudden, I was able, to feel his passion about his work.

From that day on, I’d started enjoying sitting at the bar, and, watched Mr. Coffee’s expressions and gestures, as he’d made each and every cup of coffee to serve to his customers, in the end, I’d decided to ask him to come give a guest lecture to my class too.

Most of my friends are those with the high-end degrees, and smooth rides to the top, on this day, after I’d heard him lecture my class, I’m not only in awe at his courage to change himself, and I’m even more impressed at how truthful about his ridiculous past he was toward my students.  From him, I’d seen the philosophy of how everybody is NOT destined to live a certain way, that life can still be changed by oneself, so long as one is willing to change, there would be opportunities in life.

And so, this man was able to turn his own life around, because he’d had a ridiculous past, and, he must’ve learned his lessons the hard way, which, was why he’d become, very focused, doing what he truly loves, and, he’d done some soul-searching, to finally find what is meaningful and worthwhile for him to do, and that, is just how sometime life goes, and, he was able, to make it, because of his hard-working mannerisms.

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Filed under Fate, Interactions Shared with the World, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, Translated Work, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

Without the Darkness in His Past, He Couldn’t Have Produced Such Inspirational Works

Without the darkness in his past, he couldn’t have produced such inspirational works, I know, it’s odd, how someone with such a dark past, can produce so much brightness in his work, right???

But, perhaps, it’s because of ALL that darkness, that enveloped his past, that he felt compelled, to produce those works of light, who knows.  One thing’s for sure though, his work had, inspired a lot of people, helped a lot of lost souls find the light.

Without the darkness of his past, he couldn’t have produced such inspirational work, he’d managed, to turn his own life around, and left it all, behind.  His “former” life was filled with, a TON of uneasiness, a lot of pain, suffering, discomfort he can’t run from, and so, he’d faced them all, HEAD-ON.

And now, he’s out of the dark, and he’s using his own experiences, battling with the addictions, the pains, to help others, hoping, that his life can be something that motivated others.

It’s just, hard to imagine, that someone, whose work is filled with so much hope, so much goodness, came from this awful a past, and, after knowing this, his audience applauded him even louder, because we ALL know how hard it is, to overcome, and he did, MORE than that already!

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Filed under Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Coping Mechanisms, Expectations, Inspirational Tales, Life, Nature vs. Nurture, Overcoming Obstacles, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Socialization, Turning One's Life Around

Fallen

Tripping and Falling, and, Acknowleging it…the very first step to starting to heal…

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Filed under Downward Spiral, Healing Process, Loss, Socialization, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

Penning Down the Lyrics, Writing the Music, Writing the Novels, He Was Able to Find Rebirth in Prison

Turning his life around here, from the Newspapers, translated…

A man, Chang, was jailed because of drug possessions, in the prison systems, he’d learned to play the electric guitar, and managed to write songs about love, about the relationships of him and his families, as well as stories of his drug use, turned them into songs, and, sang his original work, “My Father”, through the windows to his own mother, both were crying at the moment; he’d written over a hundred verses, and, his novels had won him the third-place prize, and he would be, making good on his promise to become a brand new man again.

The thirty-year-old Chang stated, that in the past, he’d gotten drawn into the temporary bliss that illegal substances gave him, and, it’d made his loving parents give up on him, until he’d received the notice to serve his time in jail, did he realize, that his life had gone awry.

The moment before he was about to serve time, his father died of illness, before he had the chance to repent, before he could beg for his father’s forgiveness, he was overwhelmed with guilt, the first six months of his time served, nobody visited him, he felt, that his mother, was determined, to give up on him as her son.  In order to show, that he’s a changed man, he’d written a letter by the week to his mother, and the over thirty letters had, finally, moved his mother.

“In my heart, the luckiest thing is your taking care of me, if I’m not kind to you, I will definitely regret it later on, my dearest father, how old are you now…”, this song called, “My Aging Father”, was written in dedication to his own father, at the end of last year when his mother visited him, he’d sang it a capella to her, it’d touched his mother.

Chang said, that he’d started playing the electric guitar in prison, it’d allowed him to write the music to fit with the lyrics he’d already written, “The Signals of the Street Corner”, “The Youthful Rebellion”, in the two years’ time, he’d written out over a hundred songs in Taiwanese and Chinese, not only are his songs dedicated to his families, he’d also written about how loving others feel.

Last year, he’d won the third-prize of novel writing with his “A Gram’s Worth of Bliss”, and for now, Chang used his free time at dusk, to create freely, and is now, the author of four completed novels, and, after his release, he would work towards his goals in music and novel writing.

And so, this man had found his salvation through his own writing, and, his father’s death probably played a huge impact on him, turning over a new leaf, because, he’d realized, that while he was in jail, his father had died, and, that left a regret, that nothing can ever fill, which became the drive for him, to turn his own life around.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

With a Change of Thought, I Had, Finally, Come Home

An article from a magazine online, translated…

When I was in the fifth grade, my mother had left home with some of her friends.  Before that, she’d always brought home her friends who don’t look male or female, to smoke, to drink with.  I’d told my mother, “The friends you brought home were awful!”, she’d hit me on the head, and locked me up, inside that room, in the attic.

On an evening, when the rain was pouring down, my mother didn’t come home, so, my father went, to look for her.  At the time when I was worrying about whether or not my father was going to get run over by a car, he’d come home, with my mother, drunk.  My mother who had passed out, couldn’t stop herself from throwing up, the three of us kids, cried, and kneeled before her, only I, stayed in the bedroom, as my third-youngest brother came knocking, “We’re all out here, begging mom, to stop what she was doing, won’t you come with us, and do the same too, eldest brother?” I’d only had one reply, “I’m asleep”, but, I was, actually very much awake, I’d told the walls, “I do not have such a mother!”

And from then on, I’d not viewed my mother as my mother again.  But my father, he just won’t give up, it took him, twelve years, to finally, divorce her.  Even if I’d called out to my mother’s friends, and her friends managed to find someone they knew, who just got out of prison, to come and kill me; and even if, the only time my mother came home was, when she needed money, to scam my father out of his earnings, he’d still, wanted her.  I was very furious, I’d asked him to get a divorce, but he’d told me, “a home is when we all get together, no matter what she did, she is still, your mother, I will, pull her back home to us again.”  My father grew up in the warring times, he had another wife in China, and his eldest brother in China is already in his seventies, and his persistence toward my mother made me feel less about him.

A Father Who’s an Educator, With Trouble-Making Children

My father was an educator, when I was a teenager, he had to face the doubts of his school principal, “You’re a discipline instructor, and yet, you couldn’t even manage to, control your own children, how, did you educate them?”  My father could only, transfer me out of that first school, I too, wanted to be good, it’s not that I can’t, I just, didn’t know how.  I felt so borderline, often got upset, depressed, but at the same time, I was, filled with energy, and I’m often on edge, in my psychological state of mind.

The four kids from my family, before we were twenty-five, none of us behaved.  I was the eldest, played the role of the “savior” of my family, I’d disciplined my own younger brothers and sister.  I wasn’t at all studious, but at the same time, I was forcing my younger sister, to recite the poems; I’d run off to hang out with friends, but, banned my younger brothers from so doing; I would physically hit my second youngest brother, and, when I couldn’t win in fights, I’d simply, ignored him.

I didn’t get into college until I was twenty-three, before that, I’d worked as a construction worker, a mover.  As my third youngest brother went to technical college, he’d received, two major reprimands, two minor ones, along with endless number of warnings.  My father had often commented, “My heart was hacked in two.”  I too, was in great pain, and I’d often thought, that had my mother not behaved as she’d done, maybe, our household wouldn’t be a huge mess.  As I thought about my mother, anger started, raging inside of me.

And I didn’t get along well with my father either, I’d never celebrated a birthday from when I was growing up.  My father always told me, poor people don’t have birthdays.  But, on the day that I’d turned twenty, my father, he bought me, a birthday cake.  Did you know that, for a child who’d never been kempt, in accepting love, when my father showed me his cares and concerns, I felt, awkward, “I don’t want it, why are you giving me a cake?” this awkward feeling that came out of nowhere, without taking even a bite from the cake, I’d slammed the doors, and left the house.

I got trapped between, needing and wanting my family to love me, and yet, at the same time, I’d despised this feeling of needing their love.  Love is so warm, why can’t I just, embrace it?  Because I’d lived, for too long, in this icy environment, that this sudden warmth imposed upon me, I wouldn’t know, how to cope with.

My mother’s leaving home had caused me to feel so very lonely, I’d once imagined, that when I was feeling lonely, my mother would come to me, and hug me.  But when I saw other people’s moms, hugging them, I’d started crying, so hard, that, was the shared grief, for people who’d lost their mothers.

At age thirty-two, the school I taught at sent us to take the Satir Counseling method, back then, I was, so totally, against counseling, always believed, that those in the field of psychology is prying into the personal matters of others.  But, on that very first day of class, I was, shocked, at the lecturer’s open attitude, his forgiving nature, and his not blaming me.  I was, shaken up, from the inside out, and learned, that there was, this way, of relating to others.

I’d decided, to go into counseling then, back then, I had only $200,000N.T. in savings, I took out $60,000N.T., for the sessions right away.  For the next two years, I’d gone, every month, to Chenggong University, to talk to, the psychiatrists, and the social workers, in the process of talking and listening, I’d gained a better understanding of my own mother.  My heart was opened, I understood, that I was feeling sad, my own losses, and regrets as well, and I had, the ability now, to examine, the origins of all of those negative feelings of mine.

Finding the Last Piece of the Puzzle Called “Family”

In the counseling sessions, there was an assignment, it was, for the pupils, to draw a diagram of their families, that, was the very first time, so I’d called her up, she was very surprised, to hear my voice, for the first time in twenty years since she’d left home, that was, the very first time I’d gotten in touch with her by my choice, I no longer, grilled her about why she’d abandoned us, or took that tone of blame when I spoke to her, and, because I wasn’t angry, she didn’t react as rashly either.  She’d mentioned how she was, volunteering, helping the deceased from the less fortunate families clean up their bodies, because she wanted to, atone for her own sins.  I felt awful, told her, that although I didn’t condone what she’d done back then, but I don’t think she’s with that much guilt, that she needed not be, too hard on herself.  “I respect, that we could, travel on this long journey together.”  She’d started crying on the other end of the line, and started apologizing to me continuously.

I’d even told her, that I’d admired her, because seeing and knowing where she had come, in the midst, of all the difficulties in her life, whether or not she liked it, she’d still, lived on, using her own methods.

I’d come to understand my own mother, through the “needs of a man”, when she married my father, she was only nineteen, they were, more than twenty years apart in age, could there be, that there was, a huge part of her life, that never quite was satisfied?  I’d also come to realize, that even though my father is a Mr. Nice-Guy, he did have, a ton of the traditional values, such a young life, married to my father, without any forms of fun or entertainment, it must’ve been, so unfair to my mother.

With a change of a thought, I’d gotten myself out of the grief I’d felt for so very long, made peace with my own mother.  This year on Chinese New Year, by tradition, the children would head over to our birth mother’s place to give her the red envelopes, then, head home, to my father and my stepmother, to have our New Year’s Eve supper together.  I can, finally, enjoy, this hard-to-come-by family get-together on New Year’s Eve this year.

And so, this, is the process of how a man finally found the closure that he needed to have, in order, to move on, with the rest of his life, it wasn’t at all easy, for him, to forgive himself, and his own mother, for her leaving him and his siblings behind, but, he was able to, consider his own mother’s perspectives, and, understood why she did what she had done, and this still took, a lot of hard work to achieve, and this man, had done it, finally!!!

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