Advice from Death Row

In July, Sita had the treat of meeting Jarvis Jay Masters in person on death row in San Quentin. Jarvis is the author of Finding Freedom, an advisory board member for Human Kindness Foundation and a true inspiration for all of us on the spiritual path. Since her visit with him, he has shared some words of wisdom that can help us all in those moments when we snap, when anger takes us over, and when we’re afraid we might do something we’ll regret. Take 2 seconds…

If we can learn to give ourselves two seconds, just give two seconds to everything we know, whether it’s before causing harm to others, or putting ourselves into situations where we find ourselves asking, ‘not again… what have I gotten myself into?’

When the job is nagging at you or the parole officer is on your back, or something even greater, the risk of being killed or killing someone… a death sentence… all of these experiences are just two seconds away, from determining the outcome of your life. Give yourself those two seconds to put yourself in check…. knowing not to do harm to yourself or to others. That ability to hear and think about what it is that makes us go down one road and not the other in those two seconds. To ask.. “what if?”  “Nah, my family, my kids, where again, will I be? Where has their father gone this time?”

Two seconds can bring the peace we have been longing for or the situations that we may regret for the rest of our lives. Allow those two seconds to keep us true to our hearts, the heart that can give all of our lives a chance.”

-Jarvis Jay Masters