Be Their Voice, Not Their Echo by Felicia


“There is so much about prison life that can never be captured with words. This after loneliness should never be forced on anyone that once had freedom.” —-Kenneth Hodge—

Everyone has a story.

It doesn’t matter what we do for a living or our skin color or how much we have in our bank accounts. Whether it is visible to the eye or locked inside us we all have a story.

We’re encouraged to believe that our past circumstances–both physical, and emotional–and our experiences are that story. Our mental picture of our life’s story encompasses what we perceive to be true about ourselves and our possibilities.

The life we’re born into is not necessarily our destiny. All of us have the power to rewrite our story, to recast the drama of our lives and to redirect the actions of the main character — our self. The outcome of our lives are determined mainly by our response to each event. Do we choose to be the hero or victim in our life’s drama?

Hearing other’s stories frees us from being bound by decisions of the past and opens us to understanding and opportunity. A really good story allows us to recognize the choices that are open to us and to see new alternatives we might never have seen before. It can give us permission to try (or at least consider trying) a new path of action.

Some know someone that’s incarcerated or their families or friends. Some can only try to imagine what each person goes through. Others are living it and enduring the different emotions that come with doing time behind these walls (like myself) or doing time alongside someone who is behind these walls.

When reading, hearing, or seeing someone else’s story really pay attention. It will make you take a closer look at your life–and ours.

You will come around to notice that there is hope in a hopeless place. There is activity in a place where there might not be, and there’s growth in a place where there’s no room to grow.

We believe that our stories (“our” as in every incarcerated soul that has had the courage to write and to give others a voice who yet remain voiceless) will sustain you during times of challenge, frustration and failure, and comfort you during times of confusion, pain and loss. We hope that we become lifelong companions offering continual insight and wisdom in many areas of your lives.

(Inspired by Chicken Soup For The Soul)

Felicia Sullivan 103547 (ORW) is written by Felicia & Christopher, a half dozen regular contributors, and incarcerated men and women all over this great Nation. I began lettersfromchristopher in 2019 to draw attention to the plight of America’s incarcerated. Thank you to all of you for following week after week.


3 thoughts on “Be Their Voice, Not Their Echo by Felicia

  1. Dianne

    I like reading this letter as my son is incarcerated in South Carolina. It has been hard on me as a mom and as a former SCDC employee. I’m retired now and never imagined my son would be in jail. He was sentenced 15 years. I was very active in some churches to collect prisoner packets for Christmas. My son prayed for dove soap and Colgate toothpaste. God honored his request. I am so disappointed that SCDC makes inmates pay more for canteen items than the public pays for same items.

    1. travisanderson011

      Dianne my daughter is in a similar position as your son, and she has found Christ. She’s active in the church and with programs. It’s tough for her to be away from family, but she’s doing well. I will pray for your son.

      The Florida DOC charges outrageous prices to inmates who shop the canteen, and the electronic provider Securus (JPay/GTL) is outrageous. There’s a couple of posts on this blog that will shock you about these companies. Search “JPay & GTL” and there’s an older post that’s excellent titled “Captured Clientele”. I found a series on this blog called “Are You Being Served” about Christian and small and non profit organizations that help our children while they’re incarcerated.

      Thank you for having worked with the incarcerated. I know it can be a tough and even thankless job. My daughter talks highly of the staff at her institution.

  2. jaymalone01

    Our pasts don’t dictate future that’s true. You’re absolutely right Felicia, but I think most people fail to see it that way.

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