Can you make a difference: good or bad? I have to be careful about saying ‘it depends’ but I will go further ‘it depends on the situation or the individual.’ For instance, I take the time out for people that are trying to do better. In order to spot this you have to see what a person does and not what a person says.

I once was told: ‘read with your eyes and think with your mind and what a great discovery you will find.’


The kid’s name was Joe. He was also a country boy just like me. It drew me to him. What also drew me was the efforts he did to get his GED. The kid struggled with comprehension, not giving it much thought. I worked with the kid until he got it. I gave him what I used, to get better. Break down the word in smaller parts, then look up the word itself within the sentence and don’t budge until you understand the entire sentence.

His math skills were actually better than my own. During those study sessions, he opened up about how his mother used hard drugs and how he and his sister suffered for years because of her addiction. It struck me very deeply because I was once that guy who sold dope to people like his mother. Over the years, I’ve slowly changed. Yes, while in prison, I have indulged in the drug game. I had to get a handle on cheating to get by and learn to be patient with the complete process. Now I choose to make a difference.

Today instead of encouraging people to quit school or skip school I push them to fight through. To date, I have seen the fruit of my labor. An important factor is that no one would listen to one word I say if I did not practice what I preach. Another important factor is to be open and honest plus showing vulnerability, love and to give love and not to expect anything in return.


Derrick L. Griffin, 18-02-2023