What is the Sequoia project?
Monday, January 11, 2010
What was I doing picking this kid up at the jail on a Holiday? Didn’t Sandi and I have better things to do with our time. What about spending it with family and friends. Let the kid sit. He chose to do what he did, to end up in jail, so why should I care?
The reason we picked Karl up is because it was important. Where I was taking him was back into a community that he had once harmed. I’ve learned that a community isn’t just a name but its neighbors. Some know each other and some don’t. His actions put him into the “clink”. What he see’s and learns now will follow him the rest of his life.
The justice system is broke. It has been for many years. Do I want Karl to be my future “neighbor” after his getting out? A person that is worse off now, than when he went in. Its not like jail actually waves this magical stick and people are suddenly rehabilitated. Doesn’t work that way. America can strive for justice but it takes place in every courtroom in every town. That's where the roots are steeped. The correctional part, where the housing of people both convicted and awaiting trial are warehoused, is completely broken.
Karl didn’t see why compassion was shown to him by our family. I didn’t feel sorry for him. We wanted him to see that there were some people who believed in him. They would give him a chance to at least start making the right choices. We didn’t do this so he could have a great meal an check back in telling his buddies what a super time he had.
Karl washed dishes and passed out food an drink to others. He met people and was judged for the work and person he was today. A good kid who made some stupid decisions. When he walked back into the concrete cell he would feel proud of what he did. This is where change first takes place. Learning that we don’t have to be the screw up or the person who is most likely to fail.
This was an excellent project. Don’t be naïve in who you help and first do your research. Find out where they are with their journey of hitting dead end roads. Do what your heart tells you. Ours told us to do this. Does it matter? Some answers never are known. The goal of this project is not to really be concerned about all the “If’s”. Simply a seed.
Posted by Mike and Bobbi Stouffer