Ted Talks: Redemption Song
John Legend is an American singer, musician and philanthropist. He uses music to improve humanity and spread love. He has done this and even penetrated prison walls. A place where the redemption song truly needs to be sang. Transformation is possible even in jails.
The question that Legend poses is one that wonders if it was possible to look at prisons differently. What if the rehabilitation of prisoners was done with love and compassion as the foundation? The society would be healthier and safer for children to be raised in.
One of the people who have learnt to sing the redemption behind prison bars is James Cavitt. He has been serving 12 years at the San Quentin State Prison and he will be released in 18 months. Cavitt is more than the crime he committed; he is a dad, a husband and a son. He has done his time and even learnt his lesson.
Cavitt is also a poet and in his piece entitled “Where I live”, he speaks of how prison has high concrete walls surrounded with barbed wire. An environment that ensures all prisoners have their hopes of a better tomorrow is cut off.
Prison is a place where every person is afraid to go to. It is a place where those who kill are killed so that it is known that killing is wrong. This really calls for the need of redemption.
Cavitt says that he has come to the realization that prison is a mindset. It is what you make it to be. Being free outside prison walls does not necessarily mean that a person is experiencing freedom. Everyone has their own demons that they must fight. If people want freedom then they must start by changing their way of thinking.
John Legend summarizes it all by singing Bob Marley’s redemption song. There is the part that speaks of emancipation from mental slavery, no one but us can free ourselves from this kind of slavery. How long shall we watch prophets being killed while we standby and look? We all need to realize the truth and join everyone in singing the redemption song.