Article from The New York Times by Chris Huntington. ( Edited to fit the blog post)

"For about 10 years, I worked full time in prisons as a teacher, logging more than 40 hours a week behind those fences, including a long winter at one facility that had been a cereal factory and stood near the highway in downtown Indianapolis. It was a rock of a building with finger-thick grilles on the windows.

During my first week there, an inmate laughed when I asked him to reset the wall clock.

“A few minutes off?” he said. “We need one that goes by months and years. What do we care about five minutes?”

I mention this only because his words summed up the love story that had defined my life. When my wife left me, I was living in Paris, which was not as romantic as it may sound because I was incredibly lonely. My bones ached, especially at the sound of accordions in train stations.

All my plans had come to nothing. I had failed at marriage, failed at work and had no money to speak of. Sometimes I would see my ex-wife on the street and she would turn away with an eagerness that could not be ignored.

One night I came upon two boys robbing an old Vietnamese man, and when I tried to intervene and make them stop, they turned on me. I began to wonder if maybe a part of me wanted to die.

I moved back to the United States and took the job in the prison. I met the inmate who helped me with the clock. I also met an inmate who had salt-and-pepper hair, huge biceps and a pair of ridiculous glasses no one in the free world would ever wear. This inmate’s name was Mike.

Mike showed me a folder of clippings and photocopied certificates from all the educational programs he had completed in prison. He had earned a G.E.D. and a bachelor’s degree, as well as certifications in the usual programs like small engine repair and barbering.

He had kept letters from his counselors, chaplains and teachers. In these letters, supervisor after supervisor claimed to love him, but it all struck me as kind of sad and awkward. I couldn’t read the whole thing.

When I first met Mike, he said: “These young guys — they just got locked up and they’ve got five years to do and they hate it. I get that. When you’re 20, five years is a long time, so they act out. I used to be like that. But now I’m two-thirds done, so every day is taking me closer to the door. When I think like that, I can get up in the morning and smile.”

A month later, my supervisor told me Mike had been locked up for more than 16 years and had at least 8 more to go. Arrested when he was a teenager, he wasn’t going to be released until he was in his mid-40s. He had raped the sheriff’s daughter in his hometown. It didn’t matter how fat his folder of supportive letters got.

“I used to be angry,” Mike told me. “I’d pick fights over nothing. I was mad to be in prison and I wanted everyone else to be mad, too. But then I realized: Man, this is my life. Do I want to be that guy? Always mad? I’m not going to get married or have a family. Not today. Maybe never. I’m going to be here. I’m a prisoner. There are some things I’m never going to do. And I can spend my life being mad about that, or I can try something else.”

I asked him what he had decided.

“I decided to be the best prisoner I could be,” he said.


I get to spend every friday night with a bunch of Dads playing the best sport in the world. 


A mentor once told me, we tell lies because we are scared, afraid or just worried about the outcome. Often I think it will be impossible to go without a white lie in a day. But what if I tried the alternative, if I went without a lie, white lie or just a bold face to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to preserve the status quo.

A great article once again from the NY Times by Rebekah Campbell

 offers perhaps new insight into one of the secrets to success. Enjoy!!

“…The secret to success in business and in life is to never, ever, ever tell a lie,

I did some research and it seems most of us lie quite a bit. A study by the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of adults could not have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The same study found that 40 percent of people lie on their résumés and a whopping 90 percent of those looking for a date online lie on their profiles. Teenage girls lie more than any other group, which is attributed to peer pressure and expectation. The study did not investigate the number of lies told by entrepreneurs looking for investment capital, but I fear we would top the chart.

Most people lie about little things to make them look good. A study by a film rental company found that 30 percent of respondents lied about having seen “The Godfather.” It’s a classic film, we assume everyone has seen it, and we lie that we have too, because we want to fit in. People lie to stave off the consequences of making a mistake, to buy more time or to spare someone’s feelings. Their hearts may be in the right place, but they are still telling lies.

Telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you overreport a metric, underreport a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it.

You know the right path to take and choose another, and in so doing you lose control of the situation. Now, rather than tackling the problem head on, you have to manage the fallout from the lie. I know people who seem to have spent their entire careers inflating the truth and then fighting to meet the expectations they have set…”

Heres to not spending our entire time managing the fallout of lies and living in truth.

Oct 2013. 


The title is from a NY Times article that captured my attention this month. 

"…For some folks, life is a hill. You can either climb or stay at the bottom.

It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it is so. Some folks are born halfway up the hill and others on the top. The rest of us are not. Life doles out favors in differing measures, often as a result of historical injustice and systematic bias. That’s a hurtful fact, one that must be changed. We should all work toward that change.

In the meantime, until that change is real, what to do if life gives you the hill?…”

Charles M. Blow goes on to say that “…Trying hard and working hard is its own reward. It feeds the soul. It affirms your will and your power. And it radiates from you, lighting the way for all those who see you.”

I would like to add, Life as a Believer doesn’t guarantee a clear path, from pain, injustice or hurt. It is almost certain you will experience these. Perhaps cliche to say, but these are the conditions that forge us, they help us grow, closer to God and its assuring to know you can call upon his name when the waves of life get higher than your boat. His promise is found in Psalm 37:25: I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

He is in your boat when the waves get high, he is beside you as you climb. Whatever you do, don’t stop climbing!!

Manitoulin Island

My name is Eric Asante and this is my story.


Just when you think you have your footing, a cluster of debris from a Russian explosion gone wrong comes your way and knocks you into space. Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, by his own admission, is exploration into the director’s personal life and a spiritual journey that catapults the viewer- if he chooses- to an amazing examination.

The debris from the Russian explosion, which circles the earth and comes around every 90 mins -or when least expected, is a clear metaphor for adversities that we face in life. It seems to have its own timing and it comes when least expected, or almost on queue when you are comfortable, trying to move forward.

Metaphors splatter this masterpiece, and none bigger than our main character, drifting in space literally. Completely cut off from communication, drifting towards the void, living in her own bubble and trying to find her bearings. We come to learn she has lost her way as well, on earth, drifting and trying to make sense of a tragedy in her life.

The debris hitting is perhaps the best thing to happen. It wakes us up, and gives us a chance for rebirth, to be born again.

I read a quote about a year ago on fear and never understood it but I loved it. It was almost a year ago to this day and I think I understand debris a bit better.

“Adversities, trials, and the fear that comes along with them: They will come; they are just circling

the earth to have another go.”



"The non-event is the best part of life"

Nine months ago, my life was changed dramatically; and often on anniversaries and such we like to mark it with some sort of celebration. Which is important, don’t get me wrong.

But in giving preference to those days we often at times, forget to give equal importance to the banal ones as well. Times where life actually happens. Times where we have an abundance of opportunity to spend with family. I am referring to the laundry days, Sunday afternoons, the days where nothing happens. Those are the moments life happens. The weddings, birthdays and graduations are only but moments, a few hours. Sitting on the stoop counting cars, the chat about the ordinary things of life, those little unsexy things are moments we should not pass up.


December 2012 at the family house. My family has a Christmas tradition of praying on Christmas Morning before opening gifts and its one of my favorite traditions.

May or May Not be True

I’ve wanted to write a new blog post for a while now. I have a skeleton outline for a blog post about

film and its control and influence. I have other topics as well, such as habits, family and learning.

Anyways I had a walk and Chat with a friend yesterday and we had a great conversation. The outline

of our conversation I believe is summarized best by DFW.

"…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things,

if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have

enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly.

And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you.

On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams,

parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily


I will be more frequent with my blog post.





Everyone Worships

David Foster Wallace, said it best: “In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”  

To simply put it I believe what we spend the majority of our time on, during the course of the day is what you choose to deliberately or in-deliberately worship. If it is work, career, music, film, another life perhaps. You are choosing deliberately or involuntarily to worship.

I had the opportunity to change my life around last year and that is one of the most important realizations I made. How I choose to spend majority of my time, what I spend my time with, the places I visit and the people I spend it with. 


Photo courtesy of a friend. June 2013

I am Eric Asante and this is my story.

“Sometimes rock bottom is the finest place to be.

The moment I read a snippet of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Speecha great sense of a man who saw beyond his immediate climate was thrusted into my consciousness. As I approach a significant milestone of my time here on earth and begin to grow from the past year of my life, a few difficult observations. The speech speaks to me greatly, because it drives home a significant notion of starting from the Valley, starting from your worst and building from there.

I am a better man today than I was yesterday. Still far from perfection. Mistakes and bad decisions have orchestrated my past. A unique story perhaps, but not much different from any other. 

I have lied, cheated, stole, hated, damaged and hurt. 

But 6 months ago I decided to turn all that around. Just like Chief Joseph I had to make a declaration to myself, I refused to damage. I refused to hurt anymore, refused to lie anymore and refused to hurt anymore. 

My name is Eric Asante and this is my story

I was told by a very intelligent man that

… one must sit in the valley to see the beauty of the mountaintop, to appreciate his ascent, to live a meaningful life. And perhaps the key is to not live in the valley, but, rather, to be aware of why you are there and prepare for the journey ahead.”


Bancroft, Ontario Jan of 2013. 

My name is Eric Asante and this is my story.

The Social Animal

This is the happiest story you’ve ever read. It’s about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling lives. They had engrossing careers, earned the respect of their friends, and made important contributions to their neighborhood, their country, and their world.

And the odd thing was, they weren’t born geniuses. They did okay on the SAT and IQ tests and that sort of thing, but they had no extraordinary physical or mental gifts. They were fine- looking, but they weren’t beautiful. They played tennis and hiked, but even in high school they weren’t star athletes, and nobody would have picked them out at that young age and said they were destined for greatness in any sphere. Yet they achieved this success, and everyone who met them sensed that they lived blessed lives.

How did they do it? They possessed what economists call noncognitive skills, which is the catchall category for hidden qualities that can’t be easily counted or measured, but which in real life lead to happiness and fulfillment.

First, they had good character. They were energetic, honest, and dependable. They were persistent after setbacks and acknowledged their mistakes. They possessed enough confidence to take risks and enough integrity to live up to their commitments. They tried to recognize their weaknesses, atone for their sins, and control their worst impulses.

Just as important, they had street smarts. They knew how to read people, situations, and ideas. You could put them in front of a crowd, or bury them with a bunch of reports, and they could develop an intuitive feel for the landscape before them—what could go together and what would never go together, what course would be fruitful and what would never be fruitful. The skills a master seaman has to navigate the oceans, they had to navigate the world.

Excerpted from David Brook’s excellent book, “The Social Animal”.

Lac-Sainte-Marie December 2012. Had the pleasure of this oasis during winter.

My name is Eric Asante.