“At every single moment of our lives, we choose our thoughts, hence our vision of reality. It is in that sense that one can say that we truly do create our reality. So what if the most productive and helpful way was in seeing all through the eyes of Love?

I bless myself in the supreme freedom I have – to choose how I view life.”

PP, from https://pierrepradervand.com/365-blessings-to-heal-myself-and-the-world/

A person who feels a victim of events, of people, of their health, you name it, is simply someone who has not yet understood that we create our own reality both by our response to events or our conscious molding/creating of our lives. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute WE choose our thoughts. It can be a conscious choice we make moment after moment.

I can already hear those afflicted with « victimitis » or many simply reasonable people saying: «It’s easy for you, Pierre, who live such a creative life and do not have to face any specific hardships like hunger or bad health or challenges of all sorts (even though I do have my challenges, especially at 85), to say this. But what if you were a mother abandoned by her husband and raising her children alone, without any outside help, in an appalling shanty town of a developing country? (I lived for five years between the two

shanty towns of Hann Plage in Dakar, Senegal, so I know just a tiny bit of the conditions of such places). Or a black inmate in Texas, a state  notorious for its statistically proven racially influenced system of justice, rotting away on death as related in the following paragraphs.

For years I have been friends with a former death row inmate in Texas, presently in Wynne Unit prison in Huntsville, who had been condemned to death for a crime we are sure he did not commit. His trial was a farce. His attorney was a known drunkard, who prided himself as being the Texan lawyer who had had more clients put to death than any other US lawyer! He prepared his clients « defense » on the basis of the police report accusing his client, Roger, and never even visited him before the trial. He fell asleep in the courtroom, snoring so loudly everyone could hear him. His defense record was so catastrophic the Texas law association barred him from defending any more inmates menaced with the death penalty. But in the meantime Roger had been condemned to death.

In the book I wrote on him with his letters to me, « Messages of Life from Death Row* », he described how he started his life on death row as a total victim, nourishing great anger, to such an extent that he began having serious physical symptoms. He then became aware that, even on death row, he was a master of his destiny. He

fundamentally changed his thinking by a conscious act of the will. He started corresponding with various persons who contacted him thanks to his request for correspondents in the Amnesty magazine. He started reading books on spirituality.

After ten years on death row he received an execution date. A correspondent of his in Zürich could not accept this, and contacted many people (including myself) who enabled her to pay a lawyer who got the specific execution date cancelled – but not the execution. I started corresponding with Roger and his letters were just amazing. Here was a man sitting in the waiting room of hell: tiny cells 2 x 3 meters, a tiny slit against the ceiling supposed to be a window. Constant noise so that you couldn’t sleep more than three hours in a row. Guards who are not exactly angels. Breakfast served around four a.m., lunch early morning and what passes for dinner in the afternoon. Violence everywhere, inmates screaming themselves to insanity if not committing suicide to end this slow death. And that’s just the briefest overview.

And from this patented hell, Roger wrote to me: « Even if I have to die on death row, I will have shown one can be happy there ». Yes. You read correctly. Happy.

When I first met Roger in 1999, he said to me, “You pull me forward” but it is years now that the roles are reversed! After having spent the whole of his adult life in prison, this amazing individual could write to a friend two or three years ago: “Yes, I believe that at this moment I am in the right place. And when God thinks I have finished the task He has assigned to me, maybe nothing more will hold me in prison.”

All is in our thinking.

And what is this task? Roger has profoundly transformed the culture of his present prison which houses well over 2000 inmates where relations between inmates were appalling, and constant gang fights and struggles between the ladinos, the blacks and the racist whites (who called themselves by a term Hitler used, “The Aryans”) into a place of renewed communication and even sharing. The culture of the institution has changed profoundly, and Roger is called by the well-earned nickname “Rock”. Which he is.

All is in the thinking.

For over thirty years in my life I practiced a form of spiritual healing that was amazingly efficient and possibly even saved my life when in the middle of a dense African forest, over100 miles away from the closest hospital, suffering from intense stomach pains

which could have been appendicitis or some other unpleasant symptom, I was able to change my thoughts from fear to trust in a love-driven universe. And this healed me.

Our thinking can change our reality.

And yours too!

Pierre Pradervand
March 1, 2023