Today I am honored to introduce you to Casey David, an aspiring film director as well as a self defense instructor from Los Angeles, CA. He has been given a second chance at life and is embracing it to its fullest. You would never know that he joined a gang at 12 years old and was eventually sentenced to 31 years in prison. Casey had me smiling from the minute we met. He's one of those people who has smiley eyes and smiles as he talks, which is contagious and makes you smile as you listen. He has a huge heart full of optimism, compassion, and joy. But that is only because he walked through the valley of trauma, pain, and loss. Casey's transformation happened because someone looked past his tough-guy facade and saw who he was at his core, believed in him, and ultimately changed his life. Casey lives every day giving back and being that person to those around him. He knows the power of second chances.
Who he is now seems incongruous with the story he shares of his early life. His transformation blows me away. He is kind, forgiving, and generous. He is open and vulnerable, sharing his fears and deepest sorrows. It breaks my heart hearing that he wanted to end his life so bad. Thank God for somebody seeing the good in him, having the courage to tell him and in doing so reignited his spark to continue living. I'm so thankful that spark of fire in him never went out and that he ultimately decided to help kids like the one he used to be. This giving of himself brought him back to life and filled him with joy - the contagious kind.
The power of being seen...the ripple effect of that ends up touching so many lives. One of the kindest things you can tell someone is that you see them - especially see the good in them. We all need that positive reinforcement. Nelson Mandela once said, "It never hurts to see the good in someone. They often act the better because of it." That statement couldn't be more true for Casey. It literally changed his life. I see you Casey. I see the good in you and how you spread it around to everyone you meet. May we all see the inner beauty of our fellow humans and acknowledge the good in them...just as Casey has.
Casey's Quote: Cherish the people in your ilfe now, the people that you love. You never know when they're gone.