After Serving 44 Years in Prison, 69-Year-Old Man Adjusts to a Changed World

“...the majority of people was talking to themselves.”

via YouTube

Otis Johnson went to prison at the age of 25 for attempting to murder a police officer. Forty-four years later, at the age of 69, he was released to a world that’s completely different from when he entered the prison system. He couldn’t believe how technology has fundamentally changed people. “My re-entry was a little bit hard at first because things had changed,” Johnson said. “I got off at Times Square and I was looking at the atmosphere … and I seen that everybody or the majority of people was talking to themselves. Then I looked closer and I saw they had things in their ears.”

Even after having spent more than four decades behind bars, Johnson keeps an open mind by trying new things. “I eat different things now. Because I’m looking at all this crazy stuff they got,” he said. “The peanut butter, it had jelly in it—and I never seen anything like that before.” Given the tremendous pain he has experienced in life, Johnson’s attitude toward the future is inspiring. “You got to let things go because holding on to anger will only stagnate your growth and development. I try not to go backwards. I try and go forward. That’s how I survive in society.”

(H/T Al Jazeera English)


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