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Nanon Willliams

VERHALEN

There is something shocking about being in prison that few can dare to understand, but there is also a freedom born of anger, love, and creativity in th face of chaos that has shaped my morality in ways that is liberating to my soul.

While having endured thus far, some 30 years in prison, I was raised on death row as a child convicted of capital murder. My quest for justice has been a road few can survive, or even seek to survive. To be powerless, means there is no force behind you or within you that sees a solution. Yet still, never have I felt Powerless. We all have a choice, even in the face of danger and death. In fact, I have often wondered how some people who give birth to beautiful children, make a choice to put their child in a raft, gently push them out to sea, and hope they find a land better than the one behind where oppression exist. To do so, that is, abandon what they love... so an inkling of a chance exist that they can find a better life is a great hope rarely understood. We judge them as being desperate, crazy even, but it is how revolutions are created. 

"It was once said to me, "Nanon, a true revolutionary never comprises principles, but strategies and tactics." In refusing to be powerless and realizing that the greatest revolution must take place within myself, so I began to change what I could."

It was once said to me, "Nanon, a true revolutionary never comprises principles, but strategies and tactics." In refusing to be powerless and realizing that the greatest revolution must take place within myself, so I began to change what I could. The journey to become a writer was an easy choice, but difficult. My first book created scrutiny from the prison administration, as did my third and fourth. With new letters about toxic prison conditions, then seeking scholarly pursuits angered many in power. Power only bows down to more power, but I have learned repeatedly that the greatest of all power exist in love. Our whole life, every act, is in pursuit of being loved. It is a quest to love. To endure anything, wrestle with anger and hate, to create peace and hope, seek change, stand up for what is right, it is love. Love of self. Love for God. Love for family and friends. A love for life.

It is not so much that I have seen hundreds of people die, faced odds the mind can't phantom, and see so much blood its like I live on a battlefield... Can't erase the need to find purpose. It can't erase the need to see the seeds planted that one day give rise to something good and wholesome. If anything, the testament of my own life is not that I am exceptional in any way, but I have had the love of exceptional people. I simply learned to see it, even when my eyes saw utter darkness, my heart was filled with light.

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