Friday, March 4, 2011

Appreciate What You Have

A story has been making the rounds this week about Raymond Daniel Towler, a man who was convicted of child rape and served nearly 30 years in jail. He didn’t spend more because of the advent of DNA evidence—evidence that exonerated Mr. Taylor.

Like any of us would be, he is angry and he is suing—he’ll receive $40,000 for each year of false imprisonment, and possibly more—but because he is free for the first time for what feels like forever, he’s enjoying littlest things that we take for granted.
[Towler] is like a new person, starting all over from where he left off. He's hoping to get in twenty more years. He tries not to think of all the time he spent behind bars as "lost." Instead, he tries to focus on the positive. Sometimes he finds himself standing for a few moments in the bathroom, sort of marveling. For three decades he lived in his bathroom. Now, after living with his cousin Carole for a few months, he lives in his own apartment (another of his life's belated firsts). No longer must he sh*t where he eats and sleeps.


So many choices. Which car insurance. Which cereal. Which deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo. Rows and rows of products. Varieties, sizes, colors. Which is cheaper? Which is better? What's the best buy? Which gum to chew? When he went into prison there were, like, two kinds of chewing gum. Now there are a zillion. One of the small gifts he gives himself is trying all the gums. "I can spoil myself a little so long as I stay within my means," he says. Papaya juice! Kiwi and strawberry nectar! Green tea! Arnold Palmer — he was a golfer when Towler went down. Now he is a drink, sweet and so incredibly thirst quenching.
This guy whose life almost was ruined is now finding the joy in the smallest things of life, like trying different sticks of gum!

Taking a serious look at your life and realizing how good you got it? Now that’s Boss.
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  1. This is one of the best advices you have given so far. Thanks for this!

  2. that is messed up, not even all the money in the world can give you back the time you spent in hell.

  3. That's inspiring! I hope he writes a book.

  4. That's really deep man, really enjoyed that, I'm gonna focus on all the little things today :)

  5. They destroyed the mans life. Completely. I can't help but give him props for not going super-boss mode and fucking up the people who ruined his life. Can you imagine being punished for something you didn't do? 30 years. 30. Years. Think about that for a little while.

  6. I've been hearing about a lot of these lately. It pisses me off how the state will manipulate things to get a conviction even if the evidence isn't there.

  7. I agree to a certain extent. It's good to look at our life and appreciate all the good things, so long as we don't fall into that trap of trying to compare our problems to those of others. Each person's problems are unique, and should not be compared. I know that's not what you're doing, but a lot of people do.

    I'm glad this guy finally got his freedom, even if it's 30 years late. I remember hearing that one of the major things that people have trouble with after being in jail for so long is remembering that they don't have to ask permission to do most things. Freedom is so precious.

    Great post.

  8. Deep! Good post man, I will definitely be checking back.