My friend and I had a conversation this morning while waiting for breakfast to be called. Cobo enjoys telling me stories about his family back in St. Croix, and all the stories are filled with the textures and flavors of a youth he truly enjoyed and misses in many ways.
The love and admiration for his friends and family -lessons they imparted to him-speak of a lifestyle that honored family and work, discipline and commitment above all else. Where his adult life deviated from the Olympic boxing career of his youth is irrelevant to this- although even through the deviation of his life into moving drugs, his commitment to friends and discipline adhering to personal values went unchanged. What interested me so much through our conversation were the starkly contrasting views we shared towards those we loved as children, yet we find ourselves in the same place today- and in important ways changed, because we are friends.
I was very self-centered. I lacked self confidence. I was terribly afraid of what others thought about me. And so I became violent-in terms of thoughts and the physical defensiveness through which I dealt with the world.