Imagine being torn from society in your twenties, and returned 44 years later. With the world changing so rapidly during past couple of decades, it would be quite a shock.
No one knows that better than Otis Johnson. He went to jail for the crime of attempted murder when he was only 25. Assaulting a police officer had costed him almost half of a century spent in prison.
Eventually, he got out of the jail at the age of 69 and stepped into a world completely different from the one he had known.
Everything he saw was new to Otis. Times Square full of flashing lights and billboards, people walking around with headphones, supermarkets filled with all kinds of new and strange food… It was all unfamiliar and overwhelming to this 69-year-old.
“I told you I stand out here for a long time watching this crazy stuff.”
Yet, he had a lot of strength and will to live and fit in. Although the memories of his family brought tears to his eyes, he decided not to live in the past. Otis goes out every day, observes and interacts with people.
“I like being in the sun and also observing people.”
Even though everything is new and different, this man is slowly finding his way back into the society that he hasn’t been a part of for a long time.
“It’s nice. It’s nice to be free.”
Otis decided to let go off the past and the anger. He goes out early in the morning, when there is no one around, sits in the park and meditates. He recalls good memories and all the things he loved and that made him happy.
“You know, you’ve got to let things go because holding on to anger will only stagnate your growth and development.”
After almost two thirds of his life spent behind the bars, this man is ready for a new beginning. He teaches all of us a lesson about forgiveness and the power of positive thinking.
“You know, a lot of people said, well society owed me because I did all this time. Even though I did the crime. I don’t think like that. I don’t think that society owes me anything. Everything happens for a reason I believe. So I let that go and deal with the future instead of dealing with the past. I try not to go backward. I try to go forward. That’s how I survive in society.”
Watch the Otis’ story in the video below and don’t forget to share this inspiring article with your friends and family!