Sherrard Owens Williams
I once read some encouraging things about a guy named Edwin C. Barnes, and his desire to become a business associate of Thomas Edison. What stood out to me was how the chapter started out with Mr. Barnes climbing down from a freight train in Orange New Jersey. He may have resembled a tramp, but his thoughts were those of a king.
The words of how Mr. Barnes may have “resembled a tramp, but his thoughts were those of a king” resonated with me deeply. My way of looking at this could be different in the measure, but it is the way I used to look at myself and the enormity of my previous life. The scars on my body from tattoo pigmentation, gunshot wounds, razor cuts, broken arm, jaw, and hip as well as a series of old scrapes and bruises were all evident to me. The way that I talked with slang vernacular, the way that I walked with a slight dip and toes turned out; the posture of a vainglorious street stance and gesture down to the very point of how I had carried and valued myself reflected and resembled all measurements of a “thug.” The fact of the matter was that my physical resemblance didn’t reflect my ideology, talent, creativity, and school of thought processing “of a king.” I started to embrace the conclusion that I was already a king, but the conflict of personal interest was the fact and principles that this is not how a king represents himself. My philosophy to this was that “man is king and can only be king and king is man and can only be man.” This prompted a quest for manhood and the divine understanding of not only protecting my mental liberty and self-respect but arming myself with valuable implements to help me become a better man each day. This was a reality check on me having to hold on to what I have needed to possess and letting go of a lot of things that did not mean me any good.
I began to seek the heights of knowledge and understanding, for which I found that “God never prospers any man, but the man prospers because he acknowledges God, and lives in accordance with the higher laws.”
King Solomon was blessed when he was given the opportunity to choose whatever he desired; his better judgment prevailed, and he chose wisdom. God blessed King Solomon with not only what he asked, but with what he had not asked, as well. When I read about King Solomon, I was touched, because I believe my dreams were identical to his, but the big difference was that I didn’t interpret my dreams as signs from God, but because I wanted those “thoughts of a king.”
There was only one way that I believed I could find out and that was through the supplication of prayer. I wanted to know the difference between everything that God said I was doing wrong and what I needed to do right. I wanted God to do for me, what he could do through me.
My walk in Texas prisons changed for the better and the positive energy or influence that I generated I shared carefully with the youngsters and even old-heads that were seeking advice. I learned that a person’s character is given to him/her for free but the moment that you accept bad deeds it can cost you a lifetime of debt. My character was free for me to reinvent and recreate and even though the tattoo pigmentation, scars, wounds and broken bones can cost me a lifetime of debt, it has become the residue of my past not an endorsement towards my future even in a Texas prison. The difference is knowing the difference and then balancing the “big difference” out, the risk and reward factors-is the risk greater than the reward? The problems that I had in my youth came from not knowing the difference between winning and losing. Every time I thought that I was winning, I was actually losing. The big difference in my life now as I continue to travel through prison confinements, comes from placing my own win-lost column in the right perspective and becoming a genuine winner aligned under God because God makes a big difference when you play on his team.
Sherrard Owens Williams
899 FM 632
Kenedy, Texas 78119