I don’t like that my husband works in a jail.
It’s scary, the people there are scary, the whole situation stirs up fear within me. But, such is required of a deputy sheriff!
Every morning I ask him how his previous day at work was, and most days are the same. A few people were arrested and brought in, a couple people needed to be transported to court, a drunken disorderly came in and spit all over everyone. But the other day was different.
He told me about a pimp and two prostitutes that were brought in, and how – after being transported upstairs – one of the girls started a fight and had to be removed to a different area. A couple days later, the same girls started more fights and caused more trouble for all the officers on duty. Perplexed, I ask him, “Why do they do that? What happens to them when they start something?” And he responds with the story of a 25 year old who has been in jail already for 7 years, and before that was in juvenile detention – “That’s all they know,” he says. “That’s what they think life is.”
I can’t imagine what events have to happen in a young teen’s life to lead them to believe all they’re good for in life is jail. It made me start to think: they could all be so much more.
This kid could have finished high school, gone to college, majored in something that he really loved. He could have joined the military, learned a trade, found a job that fulfilled him. But instead, he limited himself and set his sights low. He condemned himself to a life of crime, of meals handed to him on a tray, with limited outdoor activity and personal interaction. He could have been so much more. But instead, he will waste precious years of his life in jail going nowhere fast.
I sit at the table and shake my head, because in my mind we seem worlds apart in the choices we’ve made. And in a sense, yes – it’s astronomical. But, we could all be so much more if we stopped limiting ourselves.
I have always loved to write, but this blog is the most I’ve ever done with it. I’ve not sent drafts of my work to editors, emailed publishing companies or pursued any avenue close to taking my work to print. Why? Because I limit myself. I am more comfortable writing blog posts than I am being rejected by five publishers before one remotely admits that my work is acceptable. And in so doing, I’ve doomed myself to a life of what ifs: what if I finished that book and sent it in? What if I was published? What if I “hit it big?” I might never know.
The way we set our sights low may not land us in jail, or jump start a life of crime, but will it keep us from utilizing our God-given talents and gifts, and confine us to a life less than what we’re capable of?
What is it you’ve limited yourself to? What is it you’ve kept yourself from? Have you set your sights low, to a seemingly more manageable goal, so that you don’t disappoint?