Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don't define you | TED

Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don't define you | TED

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In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, “a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol.” Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was the beginning of a years-long journey to redemption, one with humbling and sobering lessons for us all.

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  1. Just had to take a break from watching the kalief Browder Story on Netflix. If you're not rich the system doesn't work for you. I'm filled with so much rage right now that poor young man was tortured. Personally if it was me or my son I find out who those pigs of guards were follow them home they'd be done. They can't torture someone without their hands can they

  2. I’m reading the comments and there is comments saying that people are rude and looking at this the wrong way. But every comment is nice and saying something good about Shaka.

  3. I used to beat my yonger siblings and today I suffer from gult and self hate because of it. This speach really helped me, more than I can say. I am so greatful for it. Thank you very much! God bless this man 🙏🙏

  4. After watching this video, it really puts things into perspective. All of our actions have consequences, from situations where you commit murder or to little situations in our everyday life. Do our past deeds and actions define us? They most certainly can if you do not become aware of when you are wrong and correct the patterns. I love the part of the video where Shaka is in solitary because that is where he states, “and find my self I did.” At that moment he decided he was going to take a deep look at his situation and make the changes to become a “better” person.

    I agree that prison is more of warehouse rather the rehabilitation and many people commit similar crimes when they are released. I am a firm believer that your past should not define a person but to an extent. Our system certainly needs to do better to help troubled people see a way out even when they themselves do not. Because it is possible for people to change. But like I mentioned, in order for a person to change accountability is needed and then action. Shaka is a prime example of this. The past is the past for a reason and all that matters it was a person does today.

  5. Everyone makes mistakes and he clearly understand what he did. Instead of continuing on and making bad decisions, he decided to change his life. This is a huge decision and step in the right direction. It is not easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are at the beginning of it. I believe that people are capable of change and I think he definitely has. I look back at decisions that I made just a year or so ago and while I don’t regret them because they made me into the person I am today, they were choices and decisions that I am surprised that I made. People change, people learn, people grow, and people learn.

  6. This is one of the most powerful stories I've ever heard. I am so proud of this man for everything he has accomplished. Every single one of us has demons. We all have things we regret doing, but few have the courage to go deep inside and face ourselves head-on. Our criminal justice system in the U.S. is disgraceful. He's right when he says that most incarcerated people are redeemable. Compassion is the way to healing…compassion for ourselves, and forgiveness…compassion for our fellow humans, and forgiveness.

  7. I think a lot of people on here supporting him also live in gated communities similar to the ones pulling him down. I think people need to know that in the hood people do work normal jobs and never do crime or hurt people, its not that excusable. I think although he is correct in saying that you shouldn't be judged by the person you used to be. I think I would be a lot more harsher on myself when talking on my past personally if I had killed someone personally.

  8. This story is very common with many of our youths they go through some very traumatic events in there life and they have nobody to help them. These individuals eventually lead to crime in many ways to create an income at a young age they turn to drugs and selling drugs. This may also to be to find some kind of belong because many people in gangs feel like the fellow members are family and feel like they have some sort of feeling in belonging. This man as a child felt unloved and uncared for so he turned to drugs and crime because he felt he had nowhere to turn to. This would eventually lead to him getting arrested for second degree murder. But it took him spending time in prison and spending time in prison to reflect on his life through thinking about the things he has done and as well as analyzing his life through literature and Philosophy to realize the wrongs in his ways and this allowed him to want to be a better person. Another thing that helped him change his outlook morally and ethically is a letter for his son as well as the many mentors that he encountered in prison.

    This story shows that people through analysis of morals and ethics and the events in there life can change there outlook on life and become a better person. Many prisoners go through this while in incarceration go through a rehab phase although sadly many of them don't as well. Although this man committed murder he clearly shows that he just wants to atone for what he has done and become a better person and I believe that everyone has an opportunity for redemption and I mean redemption in the way where one can redeem ones elves by proving to other people or themselves that they can do and improve the lives of people around them and even help individuals that they may have hurt in the process. Mr. Senghor even says at the end of the video we have the ability to decide who can be redeemed but only if we create the space for that to happen and let them. If we never accept people who are willing to change than they never will. I think that is very important.

  9. your deeds does define you.
    What you do and dont do right now is who you are. You're lazy at work, you're lazy. You don't wanna improve yourself, you're a mediocre.
    You are easily scared, don't wanna fight your battles or face your fears, you're a coward.

    Your deeds right now is what will shape you to who you want to become. And the greatest people are they know what they want, they know what to do, and they the deed, they DO action.

  10. I find you incredibly interesting, very intelligent, and delightfully funny. Altho I have never been incarcerated, I could feel your world and my understanding of your experiences resonated to the depths of my being and I cried. I am in awe of your strength and endurance but there is something much larger about you, it's a radiance… I want to say.. of love, but it's something more expansive. There is something in me that (listening to you) knows you… Somehow.. for me, I just a 61 year old white woman from Iowa, Grandmother of 8. ILYM! <something tells me you get that one! 😉

  11. I don’t believe he’s a bad person. I think it’s a cycle, the system. The young boys grow up surrounded by violence, become victims of the violence themselves, then grow up to do the same.

  12. In my 18 years of living, I learn people can redeem themselves. It doesn’t matter if you were a killer, rapist, drug pusher, pimp, etc. people can change and when they do. they will be haunted by the people they hurt. Some will teach others to never be like them. I know some people can’t change and others you can’t redeem like child predators but some people will change their ways if they want to. Those that did something, wrong in their past do right by others and work hard to be better.