Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. In this week’s edition, we revisit the 13 year anniversary of me being robbed and almost murdered. So this blog is going to probably one of my most personal blogs to date. I owe you a story…
Today marks 13 years since I almost lost my life. For those who read my book or have heard me speak before, when I was 17 years old, three men with guns broke into my house while I was home alone and stole many things including my peace of mind for a while. A traumatic experience was an understatement but I'm here today, alive and well. When you are the victim of a crime, many emotions go through your head... confusion, rage, fear, embarrassment, self-blame because you feel like you could have changed the outcome and more. I'd be lying if I said I always wondered what happened to those three guys who robbed us. I always wonder why our house. I always wondered if they got caught or even if they are still living. All answers I may never find out. That day God taught me you won't always get the "why" to your "what."
However, who would have thought that situation that almost killed me has allowed me to open up to hundreds of kids who have been through even worse about the importance of forgiveness, safety, and confidence as well as sell hundreds of copies of my book. I guess every cloud has a silver lining. August 4, 2007 presented a new element in my life but every day after God gave me two choices.... forgive them and move forward or stay stuck and let it overcome me.
Some days are better than others when it comes to the situation. This time last year, I was extremely anxious about the situation.
This year, I am writing a blog about it calm as can be. Next year, I may be anxious again. Who truly knows? The thing about any situation is that you never truly get over it, you just learn to live with it. But like a bad leg, just because you’ve developed tricks to ease the pain, it doesn’t mean you feel no pain at all.
Many people have been led to believe we have to always get even. Even in conflict, many people always feel the need to respond to what is being said about them. No, you don't! As long as you feel compelled to respond or retaliate when someone has wronged you, then the situation still controls you. Let it go and give it to God. It's not your battle to fight. My God is stronger than any human force I may come up against so I just pray and give it all to God. August 4, 2007, taught me that some people just lose their way sometimes. It's not my place to judge those guys so I forgive them. I hope they can one day forgive themselves.
If I could sit down with those three guys right now and have a conversation, here is what I would say:
I forgive you! August 4, 2007, may have been another day for you but it changed my life forever. Although I don’t understand why you did it, I acknowledge that you are still a human being and you will make mistakes just like I do. Just because of the type of mistakes you made/make look different than mine, it is not my place to judge you. I pray that 13 years later, you are still not the same people. I pray that you are better. I pray that you not utilizing robbery as a means of survival.
I pray that you find peace within yourself to move forward positively. I pray that your children if you have them are beneficiaries of the new you and not victims because of the old you. My prayer is that your children never experience what you put me through.
I realize that many successful people in life came from the origins of crime, drug dependence, and other toxic things. They were delivered from that quality of life and you three are not exempt from growth either. Just because you did what you did does not mean you are still not destined for success.
One favor I ask of you if you get to a better mindset in life and you see somebody going down the path you used to be on, have a conversation with them. Mentor them. Guide them to a better way to provide for themselves. That is the best apology you could ever give me if you cared to give me one.
I have accepted what happened and I have accepted the fact that what took place is not a reflection of me, what I have done, or what I deserved at the time. I accepted the fact I may not ever receive an apology, an explanation, nor reparations for what took place. But please know that God has taken care of me through the entire storm.
The physical items that you took, I got back plus some. The peace of mind that disappeared for a while returned to me in the form of more maturity and inspiration for a book. For that, I have to say thank you.
The title of this blog is "Dear Almost Killers" because I'm still here and still kicking. As long as I have a pulse, I have a purpose. I am choosing to live my life focused on where I'm headed, not what I went through.
Moral of the story: Sometimes in life, we allow others to take our power, stability, sense of security, and/or peace of mind away from us. Take it back! It won’t be easy but for you to live better, it has to be done. If not, you will remain a prisoner to the situation for the rest of your life.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
For more Classy Gent Chronicles blog post, be sure to visit https://www.authorjon.com/blog
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.