Eric James Newman

Be Good And Be Good At It! 

By Eric Newman

I grew up the fat kid. Middle child… I was due for a complex it seemed, in many ways. My parents were what they considered the “black sheep” of the family, and I didn’t know any of my real relatives until I was 9 years old, but they were weird and unfriendly.
I wouldn’t say I had a terrible childhood, with an older brother and younger sister, they helped me to look for the good in everything. I was just challenged from the get-go.
My dad was a small engine repair guy, my mother was a house cleaner, and eventually a nurse’s assistant. We lived on the border of poor and lower class. My parents did what they thought was right, with raising us kids. We were naturally rebellious though, as all kids were growing up in the eighties.
It didn’t take long before I failed to listen to my dad’s advice about picking my friends. Every kid is naturally curious so of course I wanted to know everything about everything. I’m sure all my questions shut down my dad to rarely even talking to me.
I went from being naive to skipping school in high school to play video games, to my newfound hobby of smoking. It wasn’t long before I experimented with alcohol and weed.
My parents had split up. my mother wasn’t happy anymore, so she left dad. I took turns living with both. Fast forward a bit and I found myself in a Wilderness Camp program. This was for adolescents who wanted to avoid juvenile detention and training school.
The yearlong program taught me a lot, and after graduating I never stole a cigar from any store. That’s what landed me in there.
I got emancipated. I wanted to fuel my habits so I got a job. I started smoking cigarettes, tried LSD, and mostly wanted to smoke weed and drink.
Fast forward a bit more and I found myself watching a so-called friend of mine shoot and kill another man. My breathe left me as I watched the brutal killing. it was cold blood.

 I was scared and was told I’d be dead if I said anything. Two weeks later I was in jail with an Accessory to murder charge and Conspiracy to commit murder charge. I never conspired and only wanted that escapade to be over because you see after the killing took place, I was so scared I didn’t know what to do. The so-called friend had coerced me to go along with him to another state where his family had a coalmine, where we could earn money. Little did I know the guy was planning on killing me and would have if the police didn’t arrest us when they did.

“VALUE YOUR TIME as high as you can and live accordingly. “

I sat in the county jail for two years before my court appointed attorney came and talked to me. I had no one in my corner really to help me out, so I was shook. The lawyer heard my story and told me unless I presented evidence that didn’t put me at the crime scene that I was facing 24 years in jail and the courts would convict me. 

The lawyer knew I was there since I explained what happened. He came at me with a plea bargain which I took since I really didn’t know what to do at that time, and the county jail made me feel totally hopeless. The guy got the death penalty for first degree murder, I was sent to prison for 8 to 10 years. i did 9 before I was finally released.

There are so many scenarios of situations that occurred while incarcerated and after released that either opened my mind or defined things to me, that it is totally mind blowing. I firsthand experienced the harsh reality of life.

I read the Bible front to back a few times, I read the Quran many times, I learned from Pakistani and American Muslims how Islam is different in America, how they pray and eat. I read the Bhagavat Gita and learned about meditation.

 I questioned my reality, my religion, the system, love, and even my own existence. The one thing I didn’t question was my manhood. 


 May all your dreams, prayers and hopes come alive for you! -Eric