I have struggled with writing this for the last several weeks. In fact, I'm starting at several of the previous attempts in front of me as I try to find the words I need to say. Forgive my lapses in these dispatches. I've been doing them for a year now. I have strived to inspire people with my words. At times, I have tried to inspire action. However, the majority of the time I have tried to inspire you to look within your self and see your true strength and power-to find the courage to be free.
Too often, we accept the roles forced upon us whether they be
stereotypes or the obligations of a content citizen. Sometimes, we create our own role to hide behind, afraid to face our true selves or our fears. The walls can be built so thick we can almost forget we have become guided by pain or fear.
In my life, I have been guilty of both and on more than one occasion. In fact, I am guilty right now. I feel an obligation to every person out there who looks up to me or admires me. I feel an obligation to a movement that expects its political prisoners to stand strong in the face of all adversity.
Many of the decisions I have made in the last four years I have made because of these obligations.
A friend of mine recently said to me, "What people don't get is there is the image of 'Free' the world sees and then there is the guy I'm walking the track with'.
I have dedicated my entire adult life to the struggles I believe in. My sense of honor demands no less and despite all of my failures, personal and political, I am proud of myself. It's a personal victory. I found the courage to be me. But, lately I can't remember if I'm Free or Jeff or the two are even interchangeable. It's not that I've forgotten who I am. I've forgotten who I want to be.
So, now I must find the courage to let go of obligations; self-created or otherwise. I'm not a role model or a leader and I sure as hell ain't the hope for a better future-because that's you. No, I'm just a simple guy with a big heart and a lot of dreams. Actually, I'd like to think the only difference between you and I is that I got caught.
I've entered a stage in my life where I need to reevaluate what I need to be doing. There have been many changes in how I view my life, the people in it and my goals. This will be my last dispatch until my appeal is decided or I feel the need to say something. I'm not sure which will happen first.
Of course, I will continue to write articles and editorials as
inspiration strikes. I will continue to stand strong in the face of all adversity, not because it is expected of me, but because I demand it of myself. We are all warriors, only our battlefields vary. Freedom is your birthright. Take it!
Jeffrey Luers, #13797671, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310.