July 22, 2012
My beliefs about religion started at an early age. I attended church almost every Sunday with my family including my maternal grandmother. She had a standing rule in her house: everyone under the sound of her voice had to attend church on Sunday, no ifs, ands or buts.
Sundays consisted of 9am Sunday School, 11am Worship Service, go home and eat dinner which was usually prepared on Saturday so all we had to do was go home, warm the food up, eat and go back to church for 4pm Afternoon Service. We were in church all day on Sunday. I was used to it and actually enjoyed it because of the music. I loved to hear the choir sing and the musicians play. My family discovered that I was musically inclined at a young age so they put me in the youth choir at age 6. I have been singing in various choirs ever since.
In my family we are Christians and believe in being baptized which makes us Baptists. I was baptized at age 5 and I understood fully what I was doing. My mom and Granny sat me down and explained to me what an important step I was making and asked me if I understood what I was doing. Had they not felt like I did, I would not have been allowed to participate in the baptism until I understood that Jesus was my personal savior.
I was taught the plan of salvation at a very early age. The plan of salvation is: You have to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died to save you from your sins. I DO BELIEVE THIS WHOLE HEARTEDLY. I am glad that my nuclear family shared this with me from an early age and I do appreciate them for this. My beliefs help me make it through every day of my life.
Attitudes about Convicted Felons and Second Chances
Ever since I can remember my mother was a business owner. She ran a small business the specialized in providing healthy and nutritious meals to daycare centers, schools, nursing homes and prisons. From a very young age, I worked at her company every single summer until I was able to be employed full time. The company was small and only had about 20 employees in the peak season which was summer time.
My mom believed in giving people second chances thus she had a program at her company called Second Chances. This program worked directly with Cuyahoga County to help get recently released felons employment. It didn’t matter what the charges were or how long the person had been in prison, as long as they were able to pass a personality test they were employable.
My mom received a lot of disapproval from my family regarding hiring convicted felons because they felt it was dangerous to have ex-criminals inside of her comfort zone and as a woman. My mother did not care nor was she afraid. She was just convicted that a change in the attitudes against people that had gone to jail would never change if it didn’t start with her or the next business owner. At first when I was old enough to know about her program, I was very frightened to find out that my favorite cook was actually a murderer! My mom sat me down and told me his story and that he killed his mother’s boyfriend who constantly beat her and her kids and one day the boyfriend was choking the mother and all the kids jumped on him to stop and the cook being the oldest got a knife and stabbed the man in the back and killed him. Because he was not remorseful about his actions, he ended up doing way more time than his original sentence.
My mom had felt that this man deserved another chance so she hired him. He worked for her as a cook for 18 years until I had to close the company because she passed away from Leukemia. He was the most faithful and loyal employee she had had for the whole 25 years her business was open. Just