Episode #28 - Narco Mindset Podcast - How can we become civil again? Part 2
Narco Mindset Podcast
How can we become civil again? Part 2
August 12, 2020
Host: Jorge Valdes Ph.D. - An Author, Speaker, Blogger, Mindset Coach, Podcaster, and YouTuber
Show Notes: In this episode, Dr. Valdes talks about how we can not make people like us but we surely can make people respect us. He depicts his struggles coming to America and being discriminated against. How he had to work three times as hard just to be accepted and recognized. Yet, for Dr. Valdes working three times as hard did not make him Angry instead it made him better. We are living in hateful times and perhaps it is a great idea if we start a civility movement where a person calls an old friend or relatives and invites him/her to dinner if they live in the same town and spend a night talking about everything but politics, perhaps remembering what made them close friends, or if they are relative remembering the times growing up and fun shared together. If we live far away then let us use technology to have an hour of sharing wine and cheese or coffee, and do the same. Somehow we must go back to being civil again.
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TRANSCRIPTION OF EPISODE #28
INTRO: Before we watched TV shows and movies on Narcos, and even before Pablo Escobar’s rise to fame, there was one man who was the ultimate Narco. He lived the Narco life of greed, money and power but found a way to reclaim his life, and use his astonishing experiences to empower others to live a life of hope, meaning and redemption. Welcome to the Narco Mindset podcast where Dr. Jorge Valdes shares his journey through life before and after the Medellín Drug Cartel. From torture and multiple prison sentences to how he refocused his life onto a path of principles learned as a Narco. It’s time to share that raw truth with you, right here on the Narco Mindset podcast with your host, Dr. Jorge Valdes.
Jorge: Today on the Narco Mindset podcast: Because desperation makes people do desperate things. We all have different struggles throughout our history. All I know is what I have suffered. Every life is sacred to God. I never met a person who had a hard time with Jesus. We might be the only Bible someone ever sees. I can’t control what other people believe. I can only control what I believe.
You know, the problem, I don’t tend, by no means, to say that I know what it feels like to be an African-American. I hope no African-American says they know how it feels to be a Latino. I hurt when I see what has been done to the migrant workers in this country. I hurt when I see what’s going on in the borders. I hurt when I see a mother have to cross thousands of miles to give their child an opportunity to get away from the gangs.
I lived in Latin America for a lot of years. I know their pain. I know their struggle. When I see my good brothers that I love, tell me, “We’re not against immigration, we just want legal immigration.” I’ll be honest with you, it boils. My blood boils inside of me because, sure, so do they, when there is no way for legal migration to come to America as to how it has been for years and years. We are all immigrants. Why? Because there was a country that had laws that allowed us to come in but when the country changes the laws, and it becomes almost impossible for a poor person to be able to come and give her child an opportunity, of course, she’s going to cross rivers, of course, she’s going to suffer the possibility of being raped because desperation makes people do desperate things.
When I see my good brothers and sisters, and a lot of Christian brothers and sisters, and I even see Catholic priests say to me and Evangelical preachers say to me, “Not that we’re against immigration, we just want it to be legal.” It destroys me. I’ll be honest with you. All of our struggles are different. I mean, I see the movie ‘Just Mercy’ and it irks me. I know what goes on inside the prisons. We all have different struggles throughout our history. I don’t know what it is to be a Jewish person during the times of Hitler. I don’t know what it is to be a black person during apartheid and Mandela. I don’t know the struggle that people went through with Gandhi who was sitting, starving himself in protest. I don’t tend to say I know, I feel. All I know is my struggle. All I know is what I have suffered. But all I know is this, that fighting a wrong with another wrong will not equal to a right.
I don’t know, it’s easy to say, let’s just love people. Hard for me many, many times, but I work at it. I work at it more and more every day, and I try to look at other people as not wrong, just different. I try to understand the other person. Sometimes I just can’t, but I try. It’s very difficult for me to see images of mothers making a poster for a three-year-old that said ‘fuck cops’. It’s horrible because I was on the other side of the law forever and ever. The interesting thing as I look back, I never saw the police as my enemy. I never wanted to kill any police officer. I looked at them as their job was to catch me, mine was not to get caught.
You know what, I thank God for the three agents that spent years to put my life behind bars. I thank God for them because if it had not been for them, I wouldn’t be the man that I am today. I consider them my friends. Don’t consider them my enemies. Are there bad cops? I bet there’s a whole bunch of them, but I guarantee you there's a hell of a lot more good ones out there trying, sacrificing their lives, leaving their homes, saying goodbye to their children, might not come back to put their children to bed, to make our community safer. When I hear politicians say defund the police, all they're doing is buying into the public frenzy because it seems to be a popular subject but I want to tell them, every single one of them that says defund the police, I just want you to know you're stupid because how are you going to defund the police especially in the communities that need the police more.
Why don’t we talk about how do we train the police? Why don’t we talk about putting money so that we train police officers to be part of a community, not just patrol a community, to be involved in the community? I don’t want to live in a lawless country. Hell no, I don’t. I want to be able to call 911 when I feel that someone is trying to hurt my family. When I hear politicians, it’s the same view I have of most politicians. Now, there's a lot of them I love. There's a lot of them I call good friends and a lot that I know really believe in what they're doing, but I believe the majority are only in there, for one thing, a vote because the vote will guarantee them the power that they’ve been seeking that they’ve never had. I mean, I look at how many politicians never owned a business, and they're trying to run a country. How the hell does that work?
It’s impossible that no longer we stand for what is good. I’m a democrat. I don’t give a damn what the republicans propose; I hate every bit of it. If I’m a republican, I don’t give a damn what the democrats propose; I hate every bit of it. Then when we see one of them cross the party line then he’s a traitor. Man, what the hell is going on. Why don’t we prepare the police? Why don’t we train them properly, and why don’t we screen them? It’s easy to know when someone has a disposition against a certain race, then take him out of those areas. Will there be police killings on people of color [inaudible 00:06:53] stop? Yes, there will be, there has been and there will be. But we can do all we can to minimize it because every life is sacred to God but we cannot judge all the police officers because of what one horrific demon-possessed police officer has done.
We cannot judge every black male because of the one that kills a child in a drive-by shooting. We can’t judge every Latino male because one of them belongs to a horrific gang that maims people. There are millions of all of us that are good people, that are good people that love others, that work hard to provide for their family. When we see that the answer is the extreme that we choose, I don’t believe in any of that. I just believe that perhaps we need to start practicing being better because there's a lot of consequences to our behavior. Politicians will come and go but the impact that we leave behind, to those we love, our children and our grandchildren, because of the witness of how we have behaved, the words we have used, and the actions that we have taken will be everlasting. You wonder why a lot of people have nothing to do with faith, religion, and Christianity, not because of Jesus, I promise you that. I never met a person who had a hard time with Jesus. I never met a person that said, “Man, I just don’t like that Jew.” It’s because of us, because of us.
We’re supposed to be better. We’re supposed to really obey those two commandments, love God with all your heart, spirit, and soul, and love your brother as yourself. Who does that? It seems to me we’re more judgmental than anybody else, and that’s the problem I believe a lot of people have because it’s a problem I had. I never had a problem with Jesus. I had a problem with Christians. We need to be better because our witness might be the only … You know, I tell people we might be the only Bible someone ever sees.
If you believe that there’s another life, that there's eternal life, you believe that. If you're a person of faith, then perhaps you need to ask yourself, perhaps you need to think about whether your witness will make a difference in someone spending eternity in heaven or eternity in hell. I’m not saying that’s what everyone should believe. That’s what I believe, and if I’m wrong, shit, man, I haven’t lost a damn thing. If I’m wrong, I lived a good life. I try to be a good person. I try to help my brothers. I try to look at everyone who they are as a human being, not the color or the gender or the sexual orientation.
I am Cuban, so I am very, very conservative in many, many areas. Because I’m conservative and I have certain beliefs, it does not mean that my brothers and sisters that believe differently are wrong. It’s just that that’s what they believe and I should love them for who they are, not what the stand for, not what their sexual orientation is, not what their political views are, and not what their religious opinions are or lack or are. Simply love them because they're special.
Call it stupid, call it simpleton but I always keep thinking that when every human being was born, God looked at that child and said it is perfect. I even look at children that have special needs, I don’t look at them as imperfect. I look at them as blessed. Why? Because I believe that when God creates a child with special needs, God will love that child so much that he will keep his hands wrapped around that child for the rest of their lives. That’s an honor. Am I right? Who knows? Am I wrong? Who knows? That’s what I believe, and that’s how I live my life.
I can’t control what other people believe. I can only control what I believe. I can’t control how other people behave; I can only control how I behave. I can’t control what other people say. I can only control what words come out of my mouth. Every word, once spoken, is already spoken. We might ask for forgiveness a hundred times but once said, it has been said. I urge you my brothers and sisters today, to let us try to break this pattern that’s going on. Let us not buy into this frenzy. Let us be careful what we share on social media. Are we part of the solution or part of the problem? We can only be part of one or the other. We can only be part of a solution or part of a problem. If we share hateful posts, part of the problem. If we share a post of love, we’re part of the solution. Love will always win because I believe in the end, God always wins. He knows it all. I believe he’s in control of the world.
Now, I don’t understand why so many things happen the way they do but that’s the faith I have. Faith is blind. It’s like electricity. I can’t see electricity but I know that when it’s wired properly, it gives me light, and that’s what it is, faith, to me. I can’t see it. It’s like the air. I can’t see the air that I breathe but I know if there was no air, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. That’s to me, faith. If I didn’t have faith like I didn’t for many, many years, I had millions of dollars but I was a miserable human being. I lost it all but I gained faith. My life changed. At the end, I said that anyone who’s been a criminal, anyone who’s a committed crime is a selfish person, and I was a selfish person. It’s a gamble because you gamble with your life every day of your life. So, I guess a little bit of gambling of me stays with me. I tell my brothers and sisters, “Listen if I am wrong about the future, I lost absolutely nothing, but if I’m right, I gained a lot.”
I’m going to work hard, I’m going to take this week, I’m going to find somebody that has a very, very different political opinion than I do. I’m going to call that person, and I’m going to try to set up a time where we can zoom, we can skype or even if we can get together and break bread, and instead of talking about politics, instead of talking about hating cops, loving cops, hating the Black Lives movement or loving the Black Lives movement, I want to talk about what made us friends. I want to talk about my relatives when we had nothing, the joy we had growing up as children. I want to talk about the beauty of life or maybe even laugh about a movie that we both have enjoyed. I’m going to make it a point this week for 30 minutes, at least 30 minutes, not an hour, to spend some time with someone who I have been separated from because of how we think or how we look at the world.
I’m going to take the first step, and I urge all my brothers and sisters to do the same. Perhaps if we can start loving more and hating less, we’ll create a better world for our children. Listen, forget about your life, think about the life of your children. For me, I think a lot about the life of my grandchildren. I want them to live in a world, I want them to grow up with the same joy I grew up. I had no money, but I had a lot of love, and the world wasn’t so divided perhaps because there were only four television channels and we didn’t have a television for 3-4 years when we came to America.
So, perhaps because there was only one channel of news or two channels of news, nobody watched it because we rather watched Bonanza that we were not so hateful. It was in the ‘60s when there was a lot of discrimination. We didn’t have a media adding fuel to a fire. I turned the media off, spent more time reading. We play cards every day after dinner now with my children instead of sitting in front of the TV and agreeing or disagreeing with what somebody with an agenda was saying.
Today, the message is love more, hate less. Spend time with someone that you feel is different, and remember, we’re never going to make people that don’t like us, like us. We can make sure that we like ourselves, that our creator likes us, and that we’re working to become a better person. God bless you and thank you for tuning in to the Narco Mindset podcast.
If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, share it with your friends, subscribe to us, go to our webpage at www.jorgevaldesphd.com, subscribe to our community, and you will get a free copy of my book, Narco Mindset: Freedom Edition. Every book that we sell on Amazon or anything that we generate from any of our social media goes to buying a book to send to someone in prison. So far, as of right now, at the end of July, we have sent over 20,000 books. They say that every book is read by 10 inmates so over 200,000 inmates have heard a simple message, that there’s hope, that there’s redemption, that your past doesn’t define your future, and that there is a Creator who loves you and created you for great things. God bless you and tune in again next week to the Narco Mindset podcast.
OUTRO: We’ve come to the conclusion of this episode of the Narco Mindset podcast but your path towards hope, meaning and redemption continues. For more information and resources to help you on your path towards finding a life built on integrity, honor and truth, head to jorgevaldesphd.com, and join our community. We appreciate you joining us for this episode, and look forward to helping you find your turning point right here on the Narco Mindset podcast.