What will you use your breaths on?

A monthly note from our Executive Director, Adam Grant.

The launch of our new Podcast, Conversations about A Brighter Way, has me thinking about how paradoxical our world is and we are as people. I always feel so much better about things after I’ve had a deep and meaningful conversation. Somehow I know everything is going to be “okay”.

Before you think I’ve oversimplified this, I am talking about deep, genuine, real communication. The kind that is less about “what” is said” and more about “why” it was said. More about emotions than feelings. Coming from someplace deeper than our minds. It is in these depths that the light within us resonates from. I recognize it in another because I recognize it in myself. With these conversations, I find my understanding of A Brighter Way because we have shared our combined light with the world. The sad fact is, if this metaphor holds true, as we retreat from these conversations, our combined light is diminished.

Complicating things further, our light may not shine as brightly on its own either and the darkness attempts to creep in from all sides. Where the shared light of genuine conversation nurtures and illuminates, shouting at one another in an attempt to overpower or drown out another not only does not increase light, it can extinguish it. Like shouting at a candle can extinguish it and leave you in the dark, so can “shouting” at one another.

I’ll leave you with this thought. We only have so many breaths over the course of our life. Some life events choose what we will use them on (e.g. running, lifting something, several flights of stairs…) but how we use many of them will be a choice. What will you use your chosen breaths on? Will you choose to breathe life into others or use that breath to extinguish their flame? I look forward to having the conversation about that choice.

Adam Grant, A Brighter Way executive director

Adam Grant

Executive Director at A Brighter Way

Adam's (he/him) path to ABW has of over three decades of incarceration, including 27 straight years for a bank robbery he committed at the age of 22. He began his path of service serving as P.R. Director for N.A.A.C.P. at Saginaw Correctional Facility. He has worked within other organizations in a variety of capacities: expanding educational programming; training group facilitators; providing mentoring and training; developing curriculum and constructing the framework for a Peer Recovery Coaching program.