We all take freedom for granted. If you found yourself confined in prison, would you be able to find hope? Would you be able to see past your cement walls and steel doors? Sometimes seeing beyond your circumstances just takes a shift in perspective.
This is The Psychology of Entrepreneurship,
I’m Ronsley Vaz. This uniquely produced audio docuseries follows me, and my guests from all walks of life. We examine world events and break down the reactions and responses to them from business-minded people. Then, together we go inside and unravel the inner workings of the mind of entrepreneurs, artists, athletes and academics. Our goal is to answer the question, “What is the psychology of our decisions?”.
If you are an entrepreneur or would like to explore the entrepreneurial mindset, this is the podcast for you.
Michael Jerome Braxton’s perspective is you have to have compassion for yourself to have compassion for others.
If you’ve listened to the last couple of volumes of this show, you know that we’ve been exploring the concept of the death penalty. Not only have we dove deep into the American prison system, but I have had the extraordinary opportunity to speak with Death Row inmates and ask them honest questions. In this volume, I got to speak with Michael Jerome Braxton, or Alim, as he prefers to be called. Alim is the name he took when converting to Islam.
Alim is a rapper and a spiritual leader, and he’s spent 27 years on North Carolina’s Death Row. 10 of those years were spent in solitary confinement. He has an upcoming album dropping soon entitled “Mercy on My Soul”. In the meantime, you can listen to his current music on SoundCloud. He’s also a co-author of the book Crimson Letters: Voices From Death Row. Unlike our last volume, the crimes that landed Alim in prison are openly discussed in this conversation. But, like with each of these conversations, I am approaching this volume from what I can learn from the man he is now.
What struck me about Alim was how all his words were laced with compassion and empathy. It’s hard to imagine I would feel the same after spending more than half my life locked in a cell. But Alim has given me hope that maybe we have more power over our own perspectives than we think.
In this conversation, Alim candidly tells me about the transformation he experienced while incarcerated. He went from what he describes as “the worst of the worst” to a man of faith, a man of integrity, and a man of honour. Yes, that may be hard to believe since I’m describing a death row inmate. But if I’ve learned anything from doing these prison volumes, it’s that you have to strip yourself of any and all preconceived notions before listening to these men talk. This volume is all about perspective, and I hope you’ll walk away with a different one after listening.
Also within this volume:
- Alim’s struggle with racial identity
- Alim’s journey to faith
- Taking responsibility for his actions
- Love, empathy, and compassion
- If you want to love yourself, you have to begin by loving others
- How his attitude shifted regarding his crimes
- Embracing despair in prison
- Birthdays on Death Row
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Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.