Albemarle inmate: “We can all become productive members of our community”

By: Timothy Richardson - Guest columnist

Hello Anson,

Yeah, it’s me again. I know, I know, but I’m on a true divine path of righteousness now. It’s hard to believe a convicted felon, because you may think that they have a ulterior motive. Well, I’m not going to lie to you. I do! For a few years, while I was out, I took away from my community. So, my motive is to give back. I am so regretful of my past, but I will keep pushing forward for positivity.

First of all, I would like to say: Don’t expect anything to be handed to you, because it just doesn’t happen that way. In order for you to be successful, you must take control of what you want and stay focused on your goal. There will be a time in your life when you have to stop dealing with some people that you thought was there for you or with you, because they are only going to slow you down. By any means necessary, don’t get distracted. If you happen to have a setback, don’t stop; keep pushing! It’s not going to be easy, but look at it like this: If Plan A don’t work, there’s still 25 more letters in the alphabet. Think long term. Me, myself, I used to think short term. What I want right now and not looking into the future. But now, since all the distractions have been taken away (alcohol, drugs, etc.) I am able to focus on how I can make a difference in what I want my life to be.

I know what you’re thinking. How serious am I? Well, I was told that actions speak louder than words. Every day, while I am incarcerated, I do my best to encourage the young males in here by leading by example and showing them what it means for them to be successful. We all can become productive members of our community, but who’s willing to take the first step by leaving the past in the past? Oh yes, we need unity in our community. Not hate, jealousy, envy; but love, togetherness, peace, and understanding others background of where they come from. We all need to stop being selfish, afraid and uncaring. As I watch the news every morning, it’s always a young person getting shot and killed or killing someone by robbing and stealing. If that’s what they’ve seen growing up, somewhere, somehow mentally, we as a people must take the initiative to change the way we think in order to become positive productive individuals.

Please, don’t think that I am pretending to portray an image of “Holier than thou,” but I’ve experienced some things that made me say: Enough is enough! Out of all the friends I had when I was out there, guess how many I have now? One. So that should be an eye opener to some of you about how the streets work. Once convicted of a crime and having to do some time, those friends are going to be right where you left them — in the streets. Some die or even get locked up before people even make it out of prison. Come on you all, wake up! It’s a mental warfare going on in our own front yard, but we’re too blind mentally to see it. God has shown me signs for years, and what did I do? I ignored them. Now, even the smallest sign I get, I pay attention! Why Tim? Because it could save your own or someone else’s life on the streets or in the judicial system. I know I’ve made some mistakes in my life, but I am extremely remorseful for my actions in my past.

Everything has always been about choices and decisions, and I can’t blame anyone or anything for what happened to me. It all started with “self” (me). I am not willing to make any more excuses, so, today I will make a difference. As I sit back and think, I really wished that I could’ve finished high school by graduating, receiving a scholarship in football, going to college and becoming successful in something that I love to do. That was my dream. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve made that dream come true. Now, my dream is to accommodate our youth in the community so that they can accomplish their goals. It’s not going to be easy, but anything easy is not worth keeping. It makes a difference when someone shows that they love a person and wish the very best for them. Not only that though, it also requires to spend time constantly and being patient.

We all must be responsible and accountable for what we say and do. But at first, that was something very hard for me to do. Since witnessing so much in my 29 years of living, the only thing I want to do is prevent some of the young men/women going through some of the things that I’ve been through. Don’t listen to people who are always complaining about this and that, if it is negative, because it only applies if you are thinking short term. I have a second chance, and I will not fail.

Also, I am thankful for getting my thoughts heard by the community. I am not my crime. I apologize to all those families that I’ve hurt in the past. I hope that someday you all could find it in your hearts to forgive me. No, I don’t deserve it! I just want a chance to help the youth. Until next time, peace and blessings! Each one, teach one.

Timothy M. Richardson is serving a term of 14 years, two months to 17 years, nine months in prison for committing second-degree murder in 2009, according to state records. He was convicted in 2011 and is being held at Albemarle Correctional Institution and has a projected release date of Feb. 24, 2024.

Timothy Richardson

Guest columnist