Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Mind of Maurice Clarett

While writing my blog yesterday, I was doing some research about the athletes I was talking about. One of the athletes I was talking about was Maurice Clarett, the ex-Ohio State Buckeye tailback who won a National Championship in 2002. Maurice was convicted and pleads guilty to a plea bargain sentence that has him serving in prison until his eventual release.

It was too easy for me to write about his demise, and not include his battle to rejoin society. But I was surprised to see that he, also has a blog site called The Mind of Maurice Clarett. In reading some of his posts, I could actually see the drive that is preparing him to rejoin society and start over again to prove to himself, his family, and the world around him that he intends to make good on his second chance.

In reading it, I was very curious to ask him why it is that he went down such a long and troubled road of resistance. Why was he lead away from such a bright future by events that could only lead to prison? Why spend your entire young life working extremely hard, only to let a few negative events in your way lead you away from the life you've always dreamed about?

You see, it’s tough to be a man. For no other reason, than this:

That from the time you are a young man, you try like hell to accumulate. You spend your whole life trying to build something great. It doesn’t have to be great to anyone, but you and your family. And we are ALWAYS looking over our shoulders trying to see who is going to take it away from us. Because there is always some Alpha-Male out there who will do it. And maybe this was the case for Maurice…

Well, it doesn't really matter, because Maurice is in prison now, and nothing is going to change that. Maybe when he is released, he will make good on his vows. However, what happens when he returns to society to see the elements against him? Will he be able to rally when facing his first real tests?

There is a reason I am asking this...

Because Maurice Clarett is locked away and cut off to society with limited freedoms, I find myself asking this question: Does Maurice Clarett with his limited resources find more time, effort and drive to work on being a better person than we do out in the free world?
Looking back at my 2009, I think I could truthfully answer that question as "Yes"

That's pretty unacceptable that a con works harder at improving his life mentally, physically and emotionally than I do, isn't it? I'm not saying anything against Maurice, but certainly, he is outworking me with his limited resources, and I am taking for granted the freedoms he craves.

Granted, I have played within society's rules so I have been given more freedoms than he has, but the answer to my question still hasn't changed. A con in the prison system still works harder than me, while I sit on my ass and watch another year pass with nothing to better myself with, while he is another year more prepared to rejoin society.

Shame on me; Shame on you. -Because I know that I'm not the only one who I am talking to here. I know that there are some of you reading this, who are in the same boat. -Stagnant, trapped, fearful, indecisive, and scared.

What are we planning to do with all the resources available to us that can change this? Education, working out at the gym, working harder, spending more time with your kids? Any one of these would be a full time job to focus on, let alone all of them. But what if we just picked the one that gave us the greater result to create more energy and momentum? What if we used the old New Year's resolution to work out and get in better shape and we stuck to it? If we got some compliments in March about how much weight we have lost, it would be easier to continue because we feel great and with that, we could tackle another obstacle that has been in our way.

Imagine that....

I sincerely think that Maurice's story is an inspirational one if he makes good on his promise to come back and retrain his talents. His mind seems to be in the right spot, and that's all a man who desperately wants a second chance can ask for. I hope that he comes back and proves every critic wrong. I hope he gives inspiration to all those young kids he prevents from going down the wrong road that he travelled down. But mostly, I hope that his road is a peaceful one without the stresses that were placed upon an 18 year old kid. Those sharks that wanted to ride his million dollar legs to their own destination at his expense. Either way, he won't be able to read this, but I wish you well Maurice. -I'm really pulling for you.

There was a quote in Maurice's blog that I really liked. In it, he said, "weak minds attract weak thoughts" and you can use this to go all the way down the line with where that ends off. I think this formerly troubled young man has a very powerful story, and I think I could all learn a thing from him.

The question is, will you?

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