Category Archives: Turning One’s Life Around

With the Help of Connection of a Local Bagel Shop, the Children Out of Broken Homes Found Employment, to Start Their Lives, on a Brand New Page

Finally, some, good news, the good will of the people who’d, set up this shop, with the wills to help those who lost their support from their own families, a social enterprise, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The bagel shop “Good Trees Better Fruits” in Pingzhen, Taoyuan, the founders, the married couple Huang and Chen, through the bagels that they sold, they’d connected with the younger generations of fragile families, hoping their cares and concerns can make them feel more encouraged and loved, to help them find a way to show off their values of life; all the workers, the manager, the pastry chef of the shop are all under age thirty, they’d turned the shop into their home away from home, and found their point to begin again in their own separate, lives.

The bagels of the shop were on display, from the selecting of the ingredients, the kneading of the dough, the fermenting of the dough, the baking, the setting the dough to better appearances, every step to make the bagels are thoroughly thought and planned out.

the founder on the left, Chen, with the store manager, Huang, photo courtesy of UDN.com

Huang’s belief was using the bagels, to turn the stories of life of his team of employees, into the blessing for someone else.  And now, the couple not only owned and operated the bagel shop, they’d also started up a foundation, “The Tree of Life Leadership Organization of Taoyuan”, to help the younger generations to start up their own businesses, to help them get employment.

Recalling how back in 2019, they’d started from the tiny warehouse space as a shop, Chen recalled, how they’d lacked the funding, no connections, let alone, a shopfront, and every day, he’d worried of not getting what he’d made sold completely; thankfully due to the online business means, along with how the reputation of the shop is being set up, they’d gone against the flow, and made their business a success.

The store manager, Huang, due to problems in his family was forced to separate from his own parents, and at his worst, he’d not had enough money to pay for his rent, his utilities, and bought the nearing expiration date items as food.  Another young store manager, Lai, her parents were addicts, in and out of prison a lot, with nobody she could rely on after her grandmother passed away.  There were also the baker who’d served five years in prison due to gang relations, the mother of three who’d lacked the self-confidence, the baker who’d started on his own since before age twenty, they’d all found their brand new start in life at “Good Trees, Better Fruits”.

And so, this is the heart of this young couple, who saw a need of the younger generations, and gave them a place to work, to use their own abilities to make a living for themselves, and this shop offered its employees a brand new start on life, gave them another chance to begin anew in their own separate lives.

This is a good shop, with the beliefs of operations in helping others find their way!

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Filed under Expectations, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

Saving His Old Friend from Dying of Internal Bleeding, the Man with an Outstanding Arrest Warrant Called the Cops

This man, found his own friend’s life more important than his own active arrest warrant, and made the right judgment call, how this is a step toward the right direction in this man’s life, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

A man, Pan from Kaohsiung awhile ago, went with his friend, Chang to the mountains to pick the herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, and on the third day, Chang felt sick, and started defecating blood; Pan was worried that his friend might die in the mountains, risked his identity of being a criminal with an active arrest warrant on him being found out, went down the mountains, and reported his friend’s conditions to the police, then, led the police and the fire department up the mountains to save his own friend’s life.  As he was taken into custody, he’d stated, “Even though now I’m arrested for my drug charges, but at least, I still have my conscience intact.”

The sixty-four year-old Pan had been friends with Chang for thirty, forty years, the two went to the Five Creeks Mountain regions of Taoyuan District in Kaohsiung to pick the Chinese herbal medicines on the twenty-sixth of this month.  At around noon of the twenty-eighth, Chang suddenly fell ill, and started defecating blood, although he’d not ruled it out as his stomach bleeding, but, worried, that if he didn’t get sent to the hospitals, he may be in life-threatening danger, and that was when Pan decided to go down the mountains to get him the help he needed.

Pan had an active arrest warrant on illegal substances on him at the beginning of March, he knew, that if he’d rushed to the substations to call for help for his friend, and filled out the forms, his status of being a criminal might get found out, but, as he’d arrived to the Meishan Substation to report, he’d still used his real identity, and the local police immediately found, that he had an active arrest warrant signed by the Chiaotou D.A.’s Office.  Pan told the officers, that his friend’s life is in danger that he wasn’t going to run.

The police then contacted the local fire department, the Yushan National Park management, the Seventh local safety squad, and the officials set up a search and rescue team, and Pan led them to his friend, and they were able to find Chang on the twenty-ninth, and lifted him off the mountains, got him the help he needed, he is in the hospital for an extended stay.

And so, this man realized, that his friend’s life was more important than the fact that he had an active arrest warrant, that’s why he’d gone to the police station, to get help for his friend who’d fallen ill in the mountains, and his risking getting caught (which he was!), was what saved his friend, and, that counts for something, and I’m sure, that after he served his time, he will, turn over that new leaf, and leave his criminal pasts behind him for good.

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Filed under Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf, Values

Rebirthed from Prison, Patched Up the Love, a Treasure Map of Memories

Repeated in that vicious cycle of his own misbehaviors, led him down this path of, no return, and now finally, as he sits in his cell, he’d, realized what he’d done, and what he can do, to turn his own life, around, translated…

For Most, This is a Hopeless Sort of Life……………

My rebirth from the flames, started from owing two hundred million dollars, the ability to introspect, to admit to what I’d done was wrong, was from my twelve years’ sentence in prison.  For most, this is a life without the chances, but to me, it’s, a brand new, beautiful, beginning, because, I’m now able to use my mindset of learning for life, to, turn the bottom half of my own life, around.

Walking on That, Right Path, Finally

Back when I was too young to know any better, I’d thought, that putting my fist out to help a friend, is the true meaning of giving them the support they were looking for, and yet, what I got were, the conflicts of the fights I’d gotten in, at age twenty, I’d, faced my very first, prison sentence, being taken into, custody.  Everybody told, that the longer you get locked up in prison, the more badass you’d, become, that it’s the path, of becoming a gangster, so, the very first time I got stuck in a cage, I just wanted to, make more friends, to expand my connections.  And surely, I’d not changed a bit after I’d made bail, and, I’d, hit the walls, soon enough, and only, stayed out of prison, for one short, year’s time.

The second time I got taken into custody, I’d met a white collar criminal, the worst step I’d, ever taken, and became, a con artist, got on that path of, no return.  The second time I’d made bail, I went into business with a friend, and, wrote the scripts, used the cons, to get my very first bucket of gold in life, ever since, I’d, gotten lost in the nightlife, took up the habits of gambling, and, started, squandering everything away to soon, which was a proof of, traveling down the wrong road, it’ll, catch up to you eventually.

illustration from UDN.com

By age twenty-five, I’d faced my third, two years’ worth of prison sentence, being righteous toward my friends, I’d, taken all the blames, and in return, all my friends, they’d, deserted me.  My wife went into labor when I was held in custody, and she was too distressed and had postpartum depression, and in the end, my only source of strength was my parents’ never giving up on me, which was, the start of, me, waking up, and turning my life, around.  I’d started, making friends with books, started getting into the habits of reading, to change my own heart, and understood the meanings of, “helping others” and the meanings of “helping another is helping ourselves”.  My own experiences made me reached out to my fellow inmates, hoping they don’t travel down this same wrong path I had, to improve themselves, for those around them.

The two years’ prison terms, I’d, come to understand, that the justice system is maxed out in giving me my second chances, that every time I returned back to the society, I’d, strayed, farther from I did before, that I may not have the opportunity to get out, on good behaviors again; and, maybe, it’s going to take me more years to finally appreciate being able to feel the love from my parents, to find the blessings of sharing a meal with my wife and children.  And yet, in my time of serving prison, I was, blessed by heavens above, as I was told, that I was allowed to make bail a third time, I’d sworn, that in the time I’m serving, I shall, stay away from the bad, and, start walking out, a better path of life for myself.

The Encouragements to Myself, “It Takes Ten Years to Make a Perfectly Sharpened Sword”

After I’d made bail, I’d, still, gathered with those friends, but without, the bad influences, sharing only the ideals, and I’d, come to understand, how those friends’ not, deserting me was, too precious to, come by.  As my case was still pending, I’d discussed with a friend on the future direction of my own life, “We’ll try it with you.”  with their supports I’d, become, an entrepreneur.  And, as I got totally immersed in what I was doing, I fell, in love, and in the process, I’d come to understand the meaning of “there’s a house of gold in every book”, the books I’d read in prison became quite useful in business, I’d started up from the fundamentals, and because of how my partners and I were on the same page, in only three short years, we’d, made a “good grade”.  I’m more than grateful to my friends’ trusts in me, from the team of five originally, squatted inside that compressed, tiny office, and now, we’d, expanded to more than thirty employees.

During the time of our startup, I’d worked in the merchandising department, and, used the knowledge I’d read up on in the books from prison, to lower the costs and to barter with the providers, but, being a con artist myself, I got, conned, and, I’d originally wanted to, shoulder the money I’d lost for the firm, but, my partners denied my request to, and said, that the company will pay up the total.  And in the end, the providers were touched by my story of turning my own life around, and, refunded the amount we’d lost back to us.

We all eventually, pay for our own, mistakes.  My trial dragged out for three full years, as I’d gotten that serving sentence to prison, I’d felt upset, but I’d not, gone back on that promise I’d made three years ago when I’d made bail then, and my families saw how hard I’d, tried to work to turn my life around too.

And to this very day, whenever I get anxious, upset, or agitated, I’d still told myself, “it takes ten years to sharpen that sword”, we needed to trim the rough edges of our own character off, to better our own, abilities too, and I’d understood the true meaning of “only when you change for the better, the meanings of you becoming a man showed.”

still serving his time…

repenting for what he did…photo from online

I am, a textbook example, although I’d still caused myself to get stuck, but I hope, that the life experiences of this decade of life from my twenties to my thirties, can help light the way for all those who are currently lost at the crossroads of their own, lives.

And so, this is the man’s, tracing the wrong steps he’d taken in his own life thus far, and as he’s serving his current prison term (hopefully his very last one!), he’d, realized the wrong steps he’d taken thus far, and, decided to make the changes, to make sure he doesn’t, go down the wrong roads in his own life again, and hopefully, that will to change in him, will be enough, to keep him from straying again.

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Filed under Choices, Crime & Punishment, Life, Properties of Life, Stories of Hope, Story-Telling, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf, Vicious Cycle, Wake Up Calls

The Pastor Opened Up a Farm, to Teach the Inmates to Plant the Produce So They Have a Viable Way to Make a Living After Their Release

A preacher, with the work of God, in helping to reform the inmates who are released, giving them a set of viable skills that they can make a living off, so they are less than likely, to return back to their former ways of life, a life of crimes, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The pastor from the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan Penitentiary System Hu was once a successful businessman, after his failed ventures in business, after he hit her all-time low in he life, she went into the seminary school, and started spreading the gospels to the inmates in prison, saw a lot of how the drug addicts failed in getting cleaned up, she’d set up the “Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms”, to help the reformed inmates have a viable way to make a living, he’d stayed at the far all day long with the released inmates, from the beginning of the program, there’d only been one individual and now there’s, ten, the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms became a halfway house for the released drug addicts, where they get to set up their own means to make a living for the rest of their lives.

Hu had the ups and downs in working in business, due to owing too much in debts in his business ventures, he’d lost support from his own families, became severely depressed, originally wanted to commit suicide to end his own life, he was, saved, and, made a miraculous complete recovery, he’d believed, that God saved him for a reason, and gained a whole new lease on life, in his family’s encouragement, he went into seminary school, and started spreading the gospels in prison regularly.

the photo of the man, setting up a halfway house for the released prisoners, off of UDN.com

台南監獄明德戒治分監傳道胡子琳(左)為毒癮更生人打造中途之家。記者吳淑玲/攝影

He’d preached to the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan for over a year, and stayed with the addicts, and understood why many of the cases why they’d failed, primarily due to how after the inmates releases, they’d wanted to return back to the society, but lacked the environment that served as a middle ground.

He’d selected a farm as a halfway house for the reformed, released convicts, and stayed with these released inmates twenty-four seven at his farm.  He said, that the halfway house acts to help an unsteady sapling, with the four sticks on four sides, the ropes, steadying the young sapling, to have it set its roots down in the stable environment, then, it can grow on its own to become, stronger.

Hu told, that the primary produces of the farm were mangoes, vegetables, and all of the released inmates at the beginning told him that they couldn’t plant it, and now, they’re, sweating along, growing the foods that they’re consuming, he bore witness to how the reformed inmates are, getting their lives back on the right tracks step by step.

Hu Supervised the Released Inmates to Get Certified.

It was three years ago when Hu started up the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms, recently, he’d set up the “Take Me Home Workshop” in Yongkang, Tainan, selling the handmade buns with feelings, the traditional Chinese buns, and dumplings made by the inmates who’d been released from prison, helping those addicts who are trying to stay clean to have a stable sources of income, and the skills, to start off a business of their own.

“Guo”, who’d been successful in getting cleaned, had perfect skills in making the dumplings, he’d only worked odds and ends from before, thought that he couldn’t be successful, after a little over a year’s training and learning, he’d become, a certified professional.

Another released inmate, Yang already, passed his level C certification in baking, at first he’d told, “certification for me?  Not possible!”, Hu asked the instructors to train him in his baking skills, and, forced him to take the skills certifications exams, “the pressure had been, enormous, but, in his pushing me, I actually, passed, I’m, encouraged by the man completely.”

And so, this is the wonderful thing this man is doing, for the released inmates, because they lacked the skills, and had been in prison for, many years, they are normally, detached from the rest of the outside world, and, this workshop served as a halfway place, a transitional place for these reformed, released inmates to acquire a skill that they can live off, to help them better support themselves, so there would be less of a chance, they’re to, return back to their former lives of crimes.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Helping Behaviors, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

The Drug-Dealer Turned into a Program Against Addiction Hero, Started His Business to Help Those Who had Been Released from Prison

How this dealer turned his own life around, and is now, helping others who are like him when he was younger, using his example as a what-not-to-do of sorts for the younger generations of offenders, off of the Newspapers translated…

The assistance of C.E.O. of the Fujiang Human Resources Agency, Jiang from Hsinchu had a long juvenile history, stolen cars, gotten addicted to drugs, sold the substances illegally, went in and out of prison a total of six times, imprisoned for a total of seventeen years; his daughter didn’t understand why he did what he did, his families treated him as stranger, after he was out on parole, he’d, changed his ways, turned over a new leaf.  He was grateful for his prison cell mate, Liao who’d given him a hand in changing his own ways, and now, as an assistant C.E.O., he’d hired a lot of those who were released from prison, hoping that he can give someone else a helping hand that s/he needed in life.

傷疤刻劃不懂事的年少 洗心革面拉更生人一把 – YouTube

the interview of the man, talking of his youth and inexperience that’s gotten him into a life of crimes, and yes, the link works!

In middle school, Jiang was taken into juvenile detention for stealing cars, and he’d later dropped out of school and gotten involved in gang activities, and as he’d started working as a singing companion in the karaoke bars, he’d gotten into drugs, and because he has a complex social circle, he’d gotten addicted.  After he was out of the armed services, he was desperate to make the money quickly, and started trafficking drugs, and gotten involved in printing the counterfeit bills too, involved in arms, in and out of prison six time total, and spent a total of seventeen years in prison.

“When I got taken away, my daughter was only two years old………” Jiang recalled those final ten years of his life of losing his freedom, he told, back then, his daughter was estranged from him, and couldn’t understand why he did what he’d done, he’d contemplated on his own life in the future, and decided to change, to help his families find back the faith they’d lost in him.

As he got out on parole, Jiang started working as a construction worker, hauled the cement to provide for is family, and because he overworked himself, he had a fracture, but to make sure his families had enough, he can only keep going, but, it’d, caused a long-term complication on his fractured hand.  His prison cell mate Liao saw that he couldn’t keep making a living like this, and, pulled him along in his business, and his life became, more stable.

Jiang who’d been put into prison for drug trafficking had already, slowly, let go of that awful part of his own past, and, started getting involved in the not-for-profit organizations to volunteer, and he would deliver the meals to the elderly who live alone in Hsinchu, and also works as the lecture of Anti-Drug Abuse of the county of Hsinchu, everybody who knew him called him an anti-drug abuse hero, but what he’d hoped more is, that what happened on him, don’t get experienced by the younger generation of children, and hoped that his hard work can help the society feel more love and compassion too.

Jiang Called Out to the Released Inmates: Don’t Give Up on Yourselves

“The trials I’d faced after my release, was no easier than when I’d entered into prison, and if my families lacked the understanding of my situation, I may easily gone back, and get sent back to prison again”, Jiang told, that after the release, the inmates are faced with the problems of livelihood, a place to stay, and having food, he’d once gone to a job interview for a security guard and got shot back, for the sole reason of him with a previous prison record; he wanted to tell those who are just released, “So long as you are willing to work hard, to not give yourselves any spare time, then, you will, find a brand new way of life.”

Jiang had watched many of his fellow inmates who couldn’t adapt to the world outside and returned back to prison again, he said, other than the environments, the choices of how you want to live your life, the support of the families will be the key determinant of whether or not you can, begin again, the will and faith of the released inmates are the most important.  A year after he was released, he was baptized, with Christianity as his faith, with the support of his friends from church, he’d gone to the services, the activities regularly, and gotten away from all those bad influences in his own past who can affect him in a bad way, “The support of the church really did help me a lot!”

Jiang reminded his fellow released inmates, to NOT give up on themselves just because others may have given up on them, like how the protection organizations for released inmates are silent supporting the released, reformed inmates to return back to society, to NEVER give up hope.

And so, this, is how this man was able to, turn over a new leaf in life, he’d had a bad track record, and decided to turn his own life around, for the sake of his families, and his families became a motivation, for him, to NOT return to his old ways, and having the families as support is very important for these prisoners, because, if your families can’t even accept you, then, how can the rest of the outside world, but unfortunately, not all families of the inmates are, as understanding as this man’s families turned out to be, and he’d had to, prove it to them, that he wasn’t, going back down that same road from before.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf, Wake Up Calls

The Man on Parole Had Gotten Intoxicated Behind the Wheels, the Judge Gave Him a Free Pass Seeing How He Was Taking Care of His Own Older Brother & Raising His Own Grandson

Leniency for drunk-driving, because of his conditions, the LAW does, have a heart after all!!!  Off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The parolee on drugs, Liu was caught riding out on his scooter intoxicated, sentenced to two months; he’d appealed, the judge thought he had a job, took care of his older brother with polio, and helped raised his own two grandsons, that after his release on drug charges, he’d not committed any serious offenses, considered the terms of parole, “gave him a free pass”, based off of penal code number 61, case closed.

The verdict pointed out, last year in the late evening of September 26th, after Liu consumed two cans of beer, rode his scooter home, was stopped by the police, his breathalyzer test showed 0.38, was charged for public endangerment.  The D.A. asked for a simplified verdict, the first trial gave him two months, which he could pay the fines and not served the time.  Because Liu was a parolee on drugs, he’d feared that his parole might be taken away, that he may get sent back into prison again, and appealed to overturn the verdict.

In the second trial, Liu showed great remorse for drunk driving, hoped the judge could give him another chance, that he shall, NEVER do anything criminal again; he said that as he was paroled, he’d found a proper job, reported to the officer regularly, made $25,000N.T. per month, and the money goes to pay for his older brother who’s in a nursing home because of polio, and he also took care of his two grandchildren, and if he gets sent back into prison, then, there will be nobody taking care of his kin.

Liu’s daughter also testified on his behalf, that as he paroled out he’d worked as a plumber/electrician, they were close; she has two children, her husband, unemployed, her father worried about them not having enough, and would give her the money to help out, and would watch her kids for her too from time to time.

And so, this man was trying to set his life straight after he served his time, and, this time he had a bit too much to drink, and got caught, violated his terms of parole, and feared that he was going to get sent back into prison, and his families will not be taken care of, that’s why he’d appealed, and the judge took into considerations how he was setting his life straight after his release, and gave him a free pass.

 

 

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Filed under Awareness, Cause & Effect, Crime & Punishment, Excuses, Knowing the Law and Breaking It, Life, News Stories, Observations, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around

To Fulfill Their Dreams, Wei-Xun Yen Donated Over 40,000 Bowls of Suspended Noodle, He’d Sent the Developmentally Delayed Children Out to Sea on a Yacht

Good deeds are still, “infectious” here, translated…

Yen, who was originally a mobster, because the deities appeared to him in a dream, with the consoling of his mother, he’d, turned his own life around, he’d started trekking the island, to donate funds to the orphanages, and he’d borrowed from the ideas of foreign cultures and started providing the donated perishables to help those in need, in just four years, he’d given over 40,000 bowls of noodles, yesterday, he’d even fulfilled the dreams of nearly a hundred residents of an orphanage’s dream of “going out to sea on a yacht”.

“Teacher, look, so many boats”!, the students came to the pier, and were all very, excited, and as they’d set sail on a multi-million dollar yacht, they’d enjoyed the sea breeze that brushed against their faces even more; the teacher, Chen said, that as the children learned that they’re taking a trip out to sea on a yacht, all of them got very excited.

顏維勳已經是第N次接受媒體採訪,從進出監獄的荒唐歲月到發起全台發送愛心物資的「環島行善團」及愛心待用麵店,就像是一齣名為「浪子回頭金不換」的戲劇,注定成為勉勵、警惕世人的題材。(陳明仁攝)he used to be a gangster from before, photo from online…

Actually, the starter of this program, Yen, was imprisoned for manslaughter charges when he was just fifteen, for killing a person with whom he got into a verbal altercation with, he said, that back then, he’d hung around with the wrong crowds every day, that late one night, he’d dreamed that a deity told him, that “do good, you will have problems resolved”, he was doubtful, closed his tattoo parlor, and set up a temple, he received probation for his crimes, and, it’d waken him up, and decided to start anew, as a brand new man again, set up a community, went around the island, to perform the acts of kindness, in one month, he’d trekked across the distant regions, and, donated to over a hundred orphanages.

Yen borrowed the acts of kindness from the international fronts, in his mother’s noodle shop in the marketplace, hung up the sign of “Do-Good Noodle Stand”, and started up the plans of providing the noodles to the needy free of change, so the guests can pay for the unserved noodle, so those who needed the food can have it without having to pay for it, and, his act of kindness, had made a fellow gangster motivated to help out too.

Yen said, that he’d visited an orphanage to deliver the resources, and saw how the children were, drawing out their wishes of setting sail there, and he’d started up the “Distant Dreams” activities, not only was he able to raise a total of $125,000N.T. in funding, the yacht owners supported his cause too, and helped fulfilled the children’s dreams of setting sail out to sea.

“Everybody is glad to help out”, the C.E.O. of the Four Seasons Bay, Lin said, all of our yacht owners were more than happy, to be able, to help out with this cause.

20151103-更生人專訪.(右起)張再興.陳修將.顏維勳(陳明仁攝)and now, he’d sorted through the donations with his friends, and sent them to the orphanages, for those in need!  Photo from online

And so, all it took, for this man, to realize that he was on the wrong paths in life, was having a dream of the local deities, and that was enough, to help steer his life in the right directions, and he’s now, helping to fulfill the dreams of children who couldn’t afford to dream.

This showed, that all you need, to turn your life around, is just that one good thought first, then, you work hard at it, and, you will surely, make a difference in the world too, just as this man had!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Cause & Effect, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lessons, Life, News Stories, Observations, Overcoming Obstacles, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Turning One's Life Around, Turning Over a New Leaf

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