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Children hold on to your dreams

Children hold on to your dreams

By Rufus Rochell

God knows it’s important our children out there in society hold on their dreams. It’s our duty as parents, first and foremost, to encourage as well as participate in our sons’ and daughters’ everyday activities.

My brothers and sisters behind bars, I am the first to tell you, that you are not exempt from these obligations you owe your child. I would love for this message to reach our schools, churches, and family functions around the country, to help deter our children from entering the so-called “Belly Of The Beast,” many know as prison.

My name is Rufus Rochelle, and I am writing this article from behind bars where I have been for almost 27 years, day for day. I entered prison at the age of 36 and now I am 63-years-of age. Throughout my years of imprisonment my dedication has been focused on saving our youth from becoming another casualty through incarceration or death. I must tell you, prison is not a “bed of roses.” Prison is very real and many have lost their lives here.

My advice to our youth, and I am pleading with you, love and respect your parents. My advice to the parents, love, respect and teach our children how to become productive in society. This way will allow each of you to be on one accord and, importantly, be proud of each other’s accomplishments.

Children, you must instill in yourselves that your generation is tomorrow’s future and that you can make a difference in this world for the many others that will come after you. We must look at one another as brothers and sisters, regardless of what color our skin is, because in God’s eyes we are all the same.

We owe it to one another to thank those wonderful teachers at many schools all around the country, who have spent countless hours teaching our kid’s curriculums. Our teachers, many of them have spent their last dollar purchasing school supplies, especially for some of the poor children mainly in the inner cities and beyond. Also, it should be noted that many of our teachers spend additional hours to volunteer and help various children to become comparable academically with other children. Teachers are our children’s “second parents,” and we must commend them for that. I think it’s fair to say, had it not been for the teachers around the country, many of you would not be where you are today, position-wise.

Although I am behind bars in federal prison, it hurts me to my heart hearing about children 10, 11, 12, and 13 years old walking those dangerous streets, sometime as late at 1 or 2 a.m. in the morning. I want to tell all parents, when our children are hanging out in those streets, whether it’s day or night, our children are in a “danger zone,” plain and simple. It’s our duty to protect children from that type of environment that will only lead them down a road of destruction.

Parents, I am pleading with you, God knows I and many others don’t want to see your son or daughter behind bars in prison. I am the first to tell you, being imprisoned and away from your family is a painful experience that no one should ever allow their children to endure. Yes, trust me, prison life is real, a place where your entire life completely changes. In other words, you are cast into the “Belly Of The Beast.” There are many nights, the wrong begins to haunt you and you wish you would have listened to all the things mom, dad, and other positive people told you; obtaining an education and staying out of trouble. Now, you are locked up and can’t get out! Sadly, you now have to depend on family and other positive ones, who you refused to listen to prior to being locked up, for financial and other support and needs.

We as parents of those children, we need to love them, first and foremost. We need to teach them to respect others regardless of what nationality he or she is. We need to show them that there are no “get rich quick” schemes. We need to tell them that they will die trying if they submit to a life of crime and deceit. We need to show our children that no one will love them the way we can. We need to teach our children that wanting to be a basketball player or a rapper is not a realistic goal, and only a small percentage of people ever make it. And that being a drug dealer will only lead to a tragic reality. Parents, we need to teach our children that they can be more than rappers, athletes, or drug dealers. We can help them to become leaders and professionals and maybe even become the owners of those sports teams. We can teach them to be instrumental in other people’s lives or that maybe they can even be CEO’s of our Fortune 500 companies. We need to believe in literacy and education, and help children to make these things a reality.

Trust in GOD and believe in yourself, and -“Hold on to your dreams!”

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