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“Get Character Or Become One” Said John Nelson, The Bookstore Bandit, To The CyberHood Watch Partners, Dave & Bill…

by dballard on November 16, 2010

Prison Was John's First Experience of Delayed Gratification

Parents, grandparents, educators, and loving individuals who are in a position to influence kids…Be mindful of the importance of developing delayed gratification within our children. Instant gratification is choking our children from reality.

Our guest today, John Espinosa Nelson, grew up in a loving family, attended good schools, and raised with parents that were exemplarily of good character and work ethics. So, how did John end up known as the “Bookstore Bandit”?

John points out that he was an “ethically spoiled brat” and learned at a young age how to leverage one parent or situation against the other to his benefit, allowing him to get what he wanted…Instant gratification.

There is no special ability or talent necessary to get into jail, and sadly a point a previous guest, Buzzy Martin shared with our listeners about children who truly believe jail time is a rite of passage and look forward to prison time with honor to carry on a family tradition. Baffling to many of us, and a sad commentary how a child would believe that incarceration is an honor and rite of manhood.

John, however, was not cut from the same cloth as the kids mentioned in the latter paragraph, and had no desire ever to be incarcerated. Unlike the kids Buzzy refers to who look forward to incarceration both understand that incarceration no matter what your intended goals find out quickly that prison is not what you ever thought it would be. Although, there is no special ability or talent to get in – coming out and making a difference in others lives is a special ability and talent that John Nelson does possess.

Notes of an Incoarcerated "Ethically Spoiled Brat"...Lessons Shared.

During John’s incarceration, he kept a journal that later became his source for poetry readings and storytelling. John shared his personal experiences in coffee houses, and the response from family, friends, and listeners of his readings encouraged John to write his book, “Where Excuses Go To Die”. It is always interesting how a title sums it all up in a few words. Check your excuses at the gate…They are only excuses and have no value behind prison walls. Today, John takes on all excuses…

Interesting to note, John Nelson, did not offer any excuses. John points out his thinking process, a reflection of his personal character at the time, and a perception that only comes with an honest evaluation looking back and sharing gained insight…What not to do. Personally, I hope his message reaches kids before making poor decisions.

In John’s words, “Get Character, or Become One”, words from someone who showed lack of character and who now realizes how significant a better decision making process would have had in his life . Today there is an imbalance between instant gratification and delayed gratification. Instant gratification is warping our kids’ reality of what builds character and those core values that take time, and are not something we can download instantly. It is hard to imagine there are kids who subconsciously believe in the ability to download character as they would download knowledge and skills used in the Matrix…Instantaneously.

Listen to internet radio with Dave and Bill on Blog Talk Radio

Beneath the title of The CyberHood Watch, Home Page, reads the sub title…”Through Communication & Awareness.” More and more we hear from our guests the importance of parents to understand how important we are in the future development of our children. One of the critical elements in raising responsible cybercitizens is the quality time spent (being there in the moment) with our kids. Kids know when you are there for them and when one eye is on your watch. This concept was the point of “Take 25″ a message delivered by Nancy McBride, National Safety Director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Take 25 was a reminder for parents to spend 25 minutes with his or her child having quality time.

John Nelson shares the insight that led to his making bad choices, how it affected his family, and what he learned from his experience. Earlier, I mentioned it does not take talent or a special ability to get into jail, but it does take character building to accept responsibility for your actions, and then to provide those life lessons to the youth who are most vulnerable to making the same poor choices…Coming out of prison and building character in others is admirable.

John wants parents to teach his or her child to make better-informed decisions. Help your child understand how to ask questions, research the truth, stay and investigate, and expect delayed gratification for discovering the truth.

The interview with John continued, and we discussed the “Correction Corporation of America”, the immigrant retention, and Bill SB1070. Did Corporate America influence the Bill SB1070, and if so, another lesson to teach our children to “follow the money” and research who writes the laws and who benefits…Follow the money.

Too many mixed messages are sent out through the media regarding, “jailhouse idealization”. We claim to know a great deal about prison life, and even glorify its life and the characters incarcerated. However, we know little attention or ignore the re-entry of our prisoners back into society. An institution that helps with the re-entry of inmates is the National Re-Entry Resource Center.

Both John Nelson and Buzzy Martin pointed out that 1 in 100 citizens are incarcerated in America; moreover, eight-five percent (85%) are in prison for non-violent drug and alcohol related issues. Take a moment and imagine a non-violent individual in prison for whatever period of time, and coming out…What have they learned during his or her years of incarceration?

One particular red flag, John noted for parents to be mindful about was his or her child experiencing a noticeable drop in grades.

Get Character or Become One…

Your CyberHood Watch Partner,

david c ballard
Radio Security Journalist

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