Spotlight for All
By Efrain Morales JR
It’s Spotlight’s 15th Anniversary —going strong. We can ask what this means to readers and writers, but it goes without saying that it does mean something for all.
For readers it can mean different things, according to their situations and experiences in life. It can mean bridging that en-cumbersome gap, or getting past that seemingly difficult threshold into recovery by simply reading the words of a writer who can relate with their pain.
Or –it can be as simple as reading a person’s story with emotional tug that resonates with that human side of us that says, “hate the sin, not the sinner.”
For the collective body of emancipators – as I’d prefer to call fellow writers –we’re veracious readers. And as I’m sure they’ll agree, we learn from other writers as well. We can gauge a different angle, or “slant” – as writer lingo has it, that would do additional justice to a topic.
For instance: When a lonely man in the penitentiary, with only a pen in hand to comfort him via cathartic release through words, to receive a recovery-based magazine really opens a world of hope. We learn and apply the wholesome redemptive takes from the respective archives of experience—from a collective body of contributing writers. These are in fact emancipators, who selflessly expose their deepest faults and hurts, so long as it helps the reader(s).
And so it was, that I gave a topic a unique slant in my very first published article in Spotlight: “Forgiving Isn’t Forgetting, It’s for Me.” It was a timely and quite controversial piece that I’m sure any victims of sexual assault would champion for its ultra-utopian-like approach to recovery. And having this article published in Spotlight led me to understand that there is a lucid-minded publisher in touch with societies pain and recovery needs.
However, as I carefully studied the topics, and read the well-written stories therein, I felt an emotional tug. Hey, I said within, these are people I can relate to; some being currently incarcerated as well. And then I took notice of the Publisher’s Page: so well balanced with reason and compassion FOR ALL.
Then—like a light shining in a dark tunnel—I felt something come alive inside, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of despair. Maybe I can be a part of something quite unique, and marvelous—from inside prison, might I add.
I think the eminent Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, says it best when quoting the 19th century German Philosopher Friedrick Nietzsche, adding, “He who has a why to live, can bear with almost any how.” (Survivors Club: PURPOSE, By Ben Sherwood, pg 319).
Spotlight on Recovery magazine had soul. It had what I needed to heal, the “how.” It gave me a worthwhile purpose to survive in a place where I only thought moments before I would surely die. Spotlight gave me the “why,” a calling greater than myself in life.
So, whether casual reader, subscriber, or writer, we all want to believe in recovery. Thanks to the dedicated, non-exclusionist Founder – Robin Graham, writers are privileged to have a platform and readers a diverse array of recovery-based stories to benefit from. In this way, Spotlight isn’t for the casual reader, the subscriber, the writer or jailbird. Thankfully, SPOTLIGHT’S FOR ALL!
Efrain Morales, Jr. who is now a published author of “Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed: (Living with a Disorder) and “Am I Really a Monster?” Both books are available on Amazon.