Use your life to make a difference

Published: March 5, 2007 | 5719th good news item since 2003

Close your eyes.

OK, can’t do that. Well, call the attention of everyone in the room and tell them to close their eyes.

Now tell them you are going to change their outlook on life and ask them to imagine this scene with me.

Last night, a couple miles away from their home, a young woman was raped and murdered. Police have little evidence.

But wait, a breakthrough!

Witnesses saw you around the area last night, suspiciously getting ice cream or going to the store for a gallon of milk.

Police plow through your past and dig up some of your past indiscretions. Using this as their basis for prosecution, they charge you with the murder of the young woman.

You are sent to trial, where members of the jury are so far removed from you they might as well be aliens. Somehow, they convict you of this awful crime.

For years, you sit in prison waiting; waiting for a miracle.

Finally, police find DNA. It is not yours.

The court does not care; you go back to jail, still waiting for that miracle.

After 19 years, that DNA is matched to a different man, who subsequently admits to the murder. You are sent free.

Tell me, how do you feel? Angry at the court at all? Angry at the real murderer?

Well, 43-year old Darryl Hunt holds ill will toward no one. Speaking Feb. 19 at Wait Chapel, Hunt reflected foremost on the top lesson he learned in the 19 years he was wrongly incarcerated.

“We have to be thankful for what we have right now, because someone else does not have that,” Hunt observed.

Come again? That’s all you have to say after wasting a quarter of your life locked behind bars for a crime you did not commit?

That’s just the type of person that Hunt is – quiet, unassuming and focused on the future instead of the past.

Instead of harping on his own injustice and suffering, which he would certainly be entitled to do for the rest of his life, Hunt chooses to focus his attention on the foundation he formed to help wrongly incarcerated inmates readjust to life outside prison.

The Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice represents a different philosophy on life – one that we could all learn to cherish.

Take our negative experiences, and turn them into positive ones. Don’t get so caught up in feeling sorry for yourself that you miss out on a chance to improve the lives of those around you.

Do what Hunt has done. Make a difference.

Published in Life
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