Tag Archives: Returning Citizen

Gratitude 2021

Another Million Views

An Attitude of Gratitude makes a difference in my perception of life in general.  Sometimes I must slow down to look at what matters most to make my attitude change from a negative perspective to the positive.

Having 19-million views on Google Maps does make me feel grateful on one level, but it’s only another number added to my accomplishments as a Returning Citizen.

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Writing about gratitude when not feeling so grateful about life as it is while writing isn’t easy, but I will overcome the negative feelings by writing about the positive aspects of my life. 

I’m not filled with self-pity or dealing with depression.  Things just haven’t been going the way for me the way I had hoped.

Because I am dealing with a personal relationship not turning out the way I had hoped. I’m just not in my typical cheerful mode, as I often am when walking around the store where I work trying to spread cheer by speaking with others. Or when walking in a park enjoying nature, feeling a cool breeze that heightens the senses, or experiencing the joy of seeing something beautiful.

Self-Pity: One saying for feeling self-pity in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is, “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me, Pour Me Another Drink.”

The antidote for self-pity is to make a list of all you are grateful for in your life.

Writing and Typing: Right now, I am sitting in front of a computer working on a blog to help brighten the day of those whom I cannot see or do not know.  If this makes you smile, I am grateful for taking the time to do what I am doing. 

Thinking about someone smiling while reading this blog gave me a burst of joy, and gratitude for the God-given ability to use words to help others to experience feelings.

Grateful for What Counts: I am grateful for my good health, for having eyes to see, feet to get me to where I want to go, and even if my two feet hurt, for having two feet to hurt. I’m grateful for the ability to love and for being loved.

Family & Friends: More so than anything else, I am grateful for still having friends and family who love and care for me and who I know would be there for me in times of need.

Tomorrow I will be celebrating with loved ones as we share love and hugs, and then while we eat good food. 🙂

In closing, I am grateful for not being in the same position that I was in back in 2016 when I wrote Gratitude and More from inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. I am grateful for being a free man, a good man.

Now that is something to smile about, to be proud of, and grateful for being in a position to sit in front of this computer doing what I do best: write.

Happy Holidays!

Movie Money by Wayne T. Dowdy

For Motion Picture Purposes

For entertainment purposes, I am posting this blog in response to my release-date anniversary from decades spent inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (08/18/1988-08/28/2018).

As I carve my way into a bright future, I continue to think of ways to generate funds for survival and to pass along to others when my time expires in this thing we know as life.


Making movies come to mind, writing or having a screenplay written from my books, since numerous people who read UNKNOWN INNOCENCE, UNDER PRESSURE by Mr. D., and ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN have commented that their content is what movies are made from, which is true.



And then I find this old draft with the Movie Money photo and decide to use this as an opportunity to promote my books with the hope that someone with connections into the movie industry will pick one up to make a few million. 🙂





Story Behind the Movie Money

Sunshine illuminated the path as I walked down a street in McDonough, Georgia, on August 28, 2019, one year after I had walked out of the prison gates to begin my new life.

One day while shopping with a sister at a Walmart and in need of money, I found a one hundred dollar bill. That was a couple of months before the bright and sunshiny day upon which I strolled along, pleasant as a peacock.

When I looked down and saw another one hundred-dollar bill laying on the ground, I thought, This is My Lucky Day! I couldn’t believe I had been so lucky to have found, not one, but two one hundred dollar bills within a matter of months.

The bill looked faded but I decided that was because it had laid in the sun too long, unlike me, whom would have turned red instead of whiter.

When I saw the written words on the bill, “For Motion Picture Purposes,” I thought, Tyler Perry and Madea were here again.

Maybe the money had floated around town since the 2013 making of A Madea Christmas, or from some other filming, but I do wish it had been a real one hundred dollar bill that I could have used.


THE END ONCE AGAIN or IS THIS WHERE THE STORY BEGINS?

Life After Release-6

LIFE AFTER RELEASE

My life after release continues to be in the present, as I have not become a recidivist who got out of prison only to return with a new charge(s) or for a technical violation on supervised release. For me it is easy since I don’t do anything I’m not supposed to do: I don’t get high, don’t run the streets, get permission before going out of the area, and just do the right thing by living in harmony with the Universe on most days.

In these types of blogs, I write from my personal experience and perspective, more so than from a broader, more general perspective of life after incarceration, or about my life while inside.

However, issues affecting those of us released, as well as those left inside, remain important to me, as will be shown if you search this website for “recidivism,” “returning citizens,” “Federal Bureau of Prisons,” “Incarceration,” where I have written numerous blogs relating to those issues. I contribute the following paragraph as a great resource for information.

PRISON POLICY INITIATIVES

For those interested in a more technical aspect of issues relating to Returning Citizens and recidivism or other prison-related issues, the Prison Policy Initiative contains volumes of important research information. I am personally grateful for Peter Wagner who devotes time and energy towards making a difference in the lives of others.


Fairshake.net

Fairshake.net is one of the best, if not the best, resource for returning citizens who need a broad base of information to help them carve their way into a bright future.

The owner of Fairshake.net invited me to write a few sentences for the Fair Shake New Year’s Eve Edition. This is what I was published:

“‘Miracles happen every day but what I learned is that sometimes I must do my part to make a miracle happen. I do what I believe to be the right thing and then get out of the way. I refused to give up my fight for freedom and fought 14-years to get Good Conduct Time. My last victory allowed me to leave for a halfway house on 08/28/2018, instead of 12/26/2018. My hope for better days got me through the dark days spent inside the dungeons of the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. Today, hope keeps me moving in a positive direction in pursuit of the many goals I remain focused on achieving. Never lose hope!'”

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

My popularity continues to climb on Quora.com, where I have written several articles/answers about my experiences relating to life in prison and other related topics. The bulleted list that follows this screenshot of my statistics, shows the most read and upvoted content. These days I don’t have much time to devote to writing on Quora, but if interested in any of the topics, visit my profile page on Quora.com to access my Answers (https://www.quora.com/profile/Wayne-T-Dowdy).

  • How are new inmates treated when they first come to prison?· 
  • If you’ve spent a long time in prison, what technology did you find hardest to adjust to when you were released?·
  • As someone who has been to prison, what are the most common inaccuracies about prison life portrayed in movies?· 
  • How does serving time in federal prison compare to state prison?· 
  • In prison, inmates yell “12” to alert other inmates when an officer is present. Why is the number 12 used when they alert each other (or does this only happen in Georgia prisons)?·
  • When does the day start for inmates in federal prison?· 
  • What happens in prison if you don’t get along with your cellie and it is a dangerous situation? Can you request a new cellmate or a transfer to a different cell?·
  • Do all men in prison have sex with other men?·
  • If you were imprisoned, how comfortable would you be without any privacy?·
  • Is it true that people get sprayed with water in prison, when they first get there?· 
  • What is a secret which you would not tell anybody in real life, but would on Quora using anonymity?·
  • What incentives do inmates have to behave well, especially those in for life? Do they care about their quality of life while on the inside knowing that they’re not ever getting out?·
  • People believe that prison should be tougher for the inmates, since there are too many luxuries awarded at the expense of taxpayers. Is being in prison as good as people think it is or worse than people could imagine?·
  • Are jail/prison inmates treated differently based on the crime they committed?·
  • Did anyone attempt a prison escape while you were an inmate?·
  • Can you survive and stay healthy on food provided to you in prison? Is the food clean and nutritious enough, or do you need to order out like the rest of the inmates?· 
  • How many people who attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings stay sober over 5 years?·
  • What were you in prison for?·
  • What is something you’ve seen that you wish you hadn’t seen?· 
  • Does “giving yourself up or turning yourself in” really give you a lighter jail sentence?· 

CONCLUSION

I have more to say but don’t have time to write it, so I will close by asking those who like or want to invest and trade stocks, to read Massive Change by Wayne T. Dowdy. Watch the two YouTube videos by Stock Moe to learn something you didn’t know. 🙂

Sign up for a Webull account and fund it with at least $100 to get an free stock ranging in value. That will help me to earn two free stocks, too. 🙂 I thank you in advance!

Personal Progress in 2020 by Wayne T. Dowdy

Top One Percent 2020

Yep, I am making progress on many levels now. To begin, in 2020 I became one of Google’s Top Photographers for Google Maps, with Six Million views of the photos I took with two Motorola cellphones that I own.

Last year for Christmas, I went high tech by purchasing a Motorola One Zoom with four camera lens. [ Read review for Motorola One Zoom on WonderfulThingsDone]

A New Life

Since my release from the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons on August 28, 2018, I first struggled with finding a job because of my age, more so than my felony convictions. In Year One of New Life, I wrote about recidivism and my succeeding in light of the odds against me as a man who spent over thirty consecutive years in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

McDonough Goodwill Store

When Goodwill of North Georgia gave me a chance to prove myself by giving me a job on July 18, 2019, I become the October 2019, Employee of the Month for the McDonough Store and Donation Center. The following month I was selected for Goodwill’s Employee Spotlight.

Then in January of 2020, a loved one gave me a vehicle to help me in all of my endeavors to succeed as a free man. Until then, I depended on my family to get me to and from work, or to the bus stop 20-minutes away from Small Town USA, kind of, even though it is near the Big City of Atlanta, or I walked and loved walking around as a free man.

I am Blessed by the Best and fortunate to have people who love and care for me, and who helped me to successfully reintegrate into society after I walked out of the prison gates feeling like a caveman entering the Modern World in which we live.

Future Home

2021 Coming Up!

My hope for 2021 involves sitting in front of the fireplace in the above photo, as I am awaiting for the loan approval as I type. Whether I purchase this particular home that I have signed the contract for, or some other house if the loan doesn’t go through because of contract-price issues, I will be living in a new place of residence in 2021 to focus more on developing my business(s).

Stars Continue to Shine!

In January 2017 I wrote the following and am thrilled and happy to now be living in the starlight with success since my release:

“My opportunity to reenter society approaches faster than additional studies can be produced to predict the likelihood of success for released prisoners. I am prepared for successful reentry. Failure is not an option.

“Without thinking of that particular day, I have worked toward it for almost three decades. Even when my release date seemed more distant than the stars that glittered in the night (too far away to see without a telescope), I moved forward on faith of better days.” Successfully Reentering Society

My faith in a Higher Power I call God, and my life of sobriety got me where I am today.

Had I not stopped using the drugs and alcohol that helped get me to prison, I would not be alive and would not have been blessed by getting to walk out of the prison doors to begin a new life.

I never dreamed I’d become a Top Photographer with a Smartphone, a device I had never used until August 28, 2018, the day my new life began. And for that I am grateful.

I close with More from My Motorola to Spread Christmas Joy

Town Square, McDonough, Georgia

Life After Release-3

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Though this post begins different than some of my others, it does relate to life after release by showing my adaption to the technological advances made since I walked out the prison doors on August 28, 2018.

A walk in the Park on a cool and cloudy, Southern day. What a pleasure it was to see a great blue heron spread its majestic wings and soar across the water. Had I not been trigger-happy on my smartphone, I would have left the park with a nice video of it flapping its wings to lift itself above the water to fly off into the trees after I disturbed its peace by walking too close for its comfort.

When I pressed the spot on my phone to start the video, I didn’t think it worked so I pressed again. The second press stopped the video that had slowly started, so I got a one-second video and another slightly longer one that tracked it as it neared the trees, too far away for a good image.

SMARTWATCH WITH PHISHING LINK INCLUDED

Two weeks ago, I ordered a smartwatch online that has the capability of connecting to the camera in my smartphone. My plan was to use the smartwatch to take a selfie or group photo with me in the picture without having to hold the phone in my hand.

When my smartwatch arrived from China, I scanned the QR Code on the miniature user’s guide to connect my smartphone. Not just any smartphone, a real smartphone with the latest technology. The Android 10 update removed bugs and improved security.

No Connection: I aborted the download when Google Chrome and my security system warned that a phishing link was detected in the app: “IhzI666.com/fundo/download.html Phishing Website” (actual URL).

I contacted the company that I bought the watch from and told them that the watch, simply labeled as SMARTWATCH, came with the phishing link in the QR code and should be removed from inventory and that the company should contact and warn all customers who purchased that brand.

Fortunate for me, a couple of days before my devilish smartwatch arrived, fully loaded to catch a phish, I checked my phone for updates and saw Android 10 was available. Had I not have taken the time to update my phone, my finances may have dwindled, even though I do use two-factor authentication to protect access to anything I use with important information contained therein.

ALWAYS BE ON ALERT FOR SCAMS

Within a month of my release from prison, I ran into a scammer who posed as a hiring manager for a company offering a work-from-home opportunity. A little too late (after giving personal information), I figured out what was going on, but kept the person on the wire for over a week playing games with him, her, or IT, because I had already done what I could to protect myself and didn’t have anything of value to be taken, other than my fine name associated with a long history of criminal convictions.

ALERTED: The email address ended with @gmail.com. The company he, she or IT claimed to represent, came before the @gmail.com. Any official business will use their company email account, not gmail.com, hotmail.com or anything other than something like @amazon.com or @straightfromthepen.com.

I immediately contacted the credit reporting agency, Esperian, and froze my credit reports and alerted the FCC about the Scam-in-Process. After letting the idiot think for a week that a phish was online, I sent a text and revealed what I had done and said, “You need to find you a real job. I’ve been in federal prison for thirty-years and don’t have anything for you to steal. I’m out here starting my life over. Find something else to do that is more constructive before you end up going to where I just left.”

He, she, or IT was one of many scammers that I have dealt with since my release. Because of my popularity as an author, blogger, photographer (Google Guide-almost 4,000,000 views of my photos in Google Maps), etc., my social presence makes me a target.

Before my release, and afterwards, if I had not taken the time to learn about security, and the advancements in technology, my life would be different than what it is today.

To repay my debt to society, I use those negative experiences to help others avoid being caught in the same traps by forewarning them and posting blogs like this to enlighten others because life out here isn’t always a Walk in the Park.

But life is good, especially when I am blessed with seeing the beauty of God’s creation as it spreads its wings to fly into the sunset or across a body of water.