Dear Next Generation: Letters From Jail

Dear Next Generation: Letters From Jail
Poor decisions have consequences, but with the right mindset they can lead to reflection and change. (Biba Kayewich)

To the younger generation, “Advice, from the belly of the beast.”

I am a 41-year-old federal prisoner, convicted of drug trafficking and weapons possession. I hope you will take heed of this advice and avoid the mess I made for myself and my loved ones.

First, it is in your best interest to find a religion to adhere to. The Bible will never steer you wrong. You can find all of the basic rules of life in Proverbs.

If you spend time listening to people glorify drugs, killing, gangs, or any type of negative content, you are setting yourself up for failure. I promise you that reality in the underworld is a dark place, and not even close to what those “entertainers” claim it to be. The reality is you will be dead or locked up if you play in that world. And prison is a horrible place. Please remember: All drugs will ruin you!

Fill your mind with positive things. Find something positive you love and learn all about it. Then take what you learned and pass it on. Find people with the same positive mindset, and choose those people as your friends. Remember the saying “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are,” so choose wisely.

Remember that no one owes you anything. Everything in this world must be earned. It doesn’t matter how hard your life is, you are not a victim. You can and will succeed if you only believe and see yourself winning in your mind. Your self-image is the key. If you see yourself in a positive light, positive things will happen.

Always ask questions! Don’t just believe everything people tell you. If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t. Don’t be intellectually lazy, find the facts yourself. Especially regarding our country. If it was so bad here, millions would not be flooding the border. Take a look at other places and thank God every day that you are here.

In conclusion, always take responsibility for your actions. If you mess up, make it right somehow. Ask God to forgive you, and remember to forgive those who wronged you. I will pray for you. God bless.


Joshua R. Souza, Pennsylvania


Do not trust or rely on your juvenile way of thinking, especially if you don't stand for something righteous. Before you make a choice on anything, seek guidance and evaluate how it will affect those who are around you. I've made choices where I did not think about how much suffering I would cause my family. Now I regret all of it and would give anything to be with my loving family again. I acted on impulse and didn't think about anyone else but me. Above all, seek the Lord and do not conform to this deceptive world. God Bless. Maranatha!

Irving Gomez

P.S.: I am serving 25 years in a federal prison. I'm a changed man now, thanks to my Lord.


What advice would you like to give to the younger generations?
We call on all of our readers to share the timeless values that define right and wrong and pass the torch, if you will, through your wisdom and hard-earned experience. We feel that the passing down of this wisdom has diminished over time and that only with a strong moral foundation can future generations thrive.
Send your advice, along with your full name, state, and contact information, to or mail it to: Next Generation, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.
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