Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Jennifer Kruse

HOPE in the World


Ever thought your life had gone so wrong that it couldn't possibly improve? Made a mistake that ruined your life?

If you've ever thought all hope in the world was MUST READ THIS!

As a Holistic Healer, I've noticed that many people get stuck on the mistakes and struggles from their past. They don't just get stuck on their own mistakes, they get stuck in other people's old mistakes too!

When this happens...They are LIVING IN THE PAST, bringing old feelings into their present moment. Great idea if you are remembering the awesome vacation you took last year! Adding those feelings from the past will brighten up your day by putting you in a happy & relaxed state of mind.

Focusing on a BIG Fight or the time you got your heart broken, absolutely NOT RECOMMENDED! Why would you want to add those feelings from the past to this NEW DAY??? Focusing on the times you were hurt puts you in a sad, hurt, angry and fearful state of mind.

If you expect to have something better NOW or in the future...Leave the past behind you & move forward into better experiences!

I've made mistakes in my life... even wished I could go back, make a different choice. Everyone has those times they regret, but they can't go back and change the past. Once it's done, it's done. Best thing to do is LEARN FROM IT. Allow Regret to fuel the changes which "mold you" into a BETTER YOU!

Made a Mistake that ruined your life? What if your mistake was so big, that you can't leave it behind?

Have a couple drinks at your Office Christmas Party? You easily could have had an accident on the way home... if someone was killed in the accident, you would go to prison! That's a mistake that you would have to claim for the rest of your life on every job application you submit! How could you expect to have a normal life after that?

If you already have difficulty leaving little arguements in the past...Can you imagine how difficult it would be to move passed a mistake that put you in prison? No mattter how "tough" a person is on the outside, being responsible for taking another's life is something that bothers everyone on the inside. Those feelings of guilt & remorse, are much greater than anything I've experienced!

What do YOU see when you look at a felon? You may see a "bad guy," he looks mean, angry, violent, dangerous & that means he doesn't look sorry for what he did. You probably feel as if you should take precautions to protect yourself from this person, right? You probably wouldn't trust him, would you? If you owned a business, would you want him to represent YOUR COMPANY? Would you leave him alone with your valuable belongings? Would you ask him to babysit your precious kids or grandkids? Would YOU hire him?

Looking at the same "bad guy," here's what I see: Someone who believes they ruined their whole life, there is no coming back from this mistake. He feels extreme remorse, can't forgive himself for what he did, can't imagine that anyone else could ever forgive him either. Who will ever see him as the "nice guy" he really is on the inside? He believes this has permanently made him into a "bad guy" and there's no changing that now. All the hopes & dreams for greatness he once had are never gonna happen now. He has very little to look forward to other than getting out of prison. When he does, then what? Who's going to ever give him the chance at a good job after he gets out? What kind of life can he expect to have? He believes he has no choices left, it feels as if his life is over.

How can the Penal System Reform him? It's no wonder that a high percentage of felons go back to prison! How can we expect the penal system to reform these people? They already feel hopeless! They BELIEVE that their life is permanently ruined. How can they leave that behind them?

Could they become "good guys" again? Yes, absolutely they can!

Every once in awhile I meet someone who TRULY INSPIRES ME. These people renew my hope for the world.

Terry Kemper is one of these inspiring people!

I met Terry at the Ponemah Wellness Day Event last year. It was a day of learning Native American traditional approaches to seeing the world in a better light, to find self healing and encouragement to keep going. I noticed that Terry brought with him a group of young men. They were wearing collars on their ankles because they had recently been released from prison. I could see how these young men looked up to Terry, following his instructions and paying close attention to whatever he suggested to them. They didn't "seem like" guys who had just done hard time for serious crimes. I would never have guessed they were felons and didn't notice it until one pointed down at the device on his ankle! They appeared to be nice, respectful young men, who had hope for the future. They looked at Terry as the guy who could guide them into that Bright Future, but why?

I was curious enough to keep watching. I noticed how well Terry interacted with them, as if he knew what they were going through. I felt happy for these young men, I found myself feeling hopeful for their future too!

Terry Kemper is the outreach coordinator for Red Road Home, a program that works with former inmates helping them to stay out of prison. The program is in need of funding again and I know that when they consider the cost comparison, they will find that providing this type of support is cheaper than the cost of caring for repeat offenders!

At the second Wellness Day Event, I attempted to give Terry a compliment. I said, "I really like the work you are doing with these young men, good job!"

He looked at me with a look of disbelief, then he asked, "do you know that I'm a felon?"

I answered, "well, I kinda figured since you connect so well with these guys. I like the work you are doing with them!"

He said, "There are people here that don't care about the work I do, even if I help their son or grandson... they still say DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE DID!!!"

I shrugged my shoulders and said, "well, I'm NOT them! Everyone makes mistakes, it's what you do with those mistakes that really matters! and I LOVE what you are doing with yours!"

He said, "but do you know what I did?"

I answered, "Nope, I don't care what you did BEFORE, because I REALLY LIKE What you are doing with it NOW!"

He commented about it yet again, as if he was in disbelief, he said, "do you want to know what I did? It was really bad... don't you want to know?" so I replied: "No, because it doesn't matter! But since it matters to you, hang on... I'll assume the absolute worst...." I closed my eyes, imagined all the most extreme crimes I could all at once. I assumed he committed ALL OF THEM. Then I opened my eyes and said, "There... Still don't care! I LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH IT!!!!!"

Terry Kemper is living, breathing, walking PROOF to these guys that they can still have hope for the future. He is a "good guy," in spite of his old mistakes. It's no wonder they look at him like he's a hero, because to them... he is!

Showing them that it's POSSIBLE to move passed their mistakes, no matter how big is a HUGE PART OF THE SOLUTION! What's the other part of the solution?

Well, I've already seen that it's possible to INSPIRE these young men and give them hope for a brighter future. How can we convince the rest of the world to GIVE THEM THAT CHANCE?

At the first Wellness Day Event at Ponemah, I met one of these young men with Terry. He was excited to LIVE his life now that he was a free man. I could see that he could GO FAR, becoming an INSPIRING MENTOR to young people who haven't yet made the mistakes he had. I visited with him about this and he seemed excited about it! At the second Wellness Day Event, I asked Terry about him.... he had since gone back to prison. I don't need to ask what happened, it's not hard to figure out. We can INSPIRE them & give them HOPE for a brighter future.... but unless other people in the world also give them these chances, how can we expect that HOPE to stay with them?

If you keep treating someone like a tell them that's WHO THEY ARE.

If they believe you... that's who they will become!

When society sends someone to prison, they are asking him to come out a better person. Why then doesn't society ACCEPT HIM when he has successfully become a better person? Why are they stuck on someone else's past mistakes? If you haven't already read it, you should read my blog entitled: When You Ask For Change... Will You Accept It?

Terry Kemper learned from his past mistakes. I don't need to know the details of his past to see that he hurt people he cared about very much. IT his work. He honors those people by using what he learned from those experiences to help others. Because of those mistakes, he is helping to make the world a better place. Looks to me like he's devoted his life to honoring those he hurt in the past.

I've heard people say that it's hard to trust felons after what they've done, they have to earn it. They will never earn the trust of a suspicious fearful person. No one can ever really earn trust. Trust must first be given, it is up to the person to live up to that trust to keep it. I believe that if you treat someone as if they are a good & trustworthy person, even if they have never appeared to be that before, it is so refreshing to be treated that way.... they will usually go out of their way to live up to your high expectations!

Andy Wells, owner of WellsTechnology and Wells Academy in Bemidji, MN is an advocate in support of hiring felons. He travels around the country speaking with other business owners, encouraging them to do the same. Positive Changes can never be forced onto someone, yet people are often EASILY INSPIRED!

It only takes ONE PERSON to INSPIRE another. Words of Encouragement provide the fuel, helping others to keep going. When someone has fallen down, Please HELP THEM UP!

Everyone makes mistakes... it's what you do with those mistakes that really matters! What are YOU doing with YOURS?

Like this article? Jen is available to SPEAK on this topic and many others. As a Holistic Healer, Teacher and Practitioner of many Alternative Medicine Modalities, Jen helps people connect & understand aspects of SELF in a profound healing experience. Helping YOU Transform Your Life.

Interested in scheduling an Event or Class? Call Jen at (701) 371-3111


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