Carl Raybon6314

On Resilience: Carl Raybon

By Carl Raybon | January 25, 2022

As 2021 — another challenging year, especially for the incarcerated community—  came to a close, we invited students to reflect on the idea of resilience. The below essay was written as part of that series, which was shared as part of our end-of-year fundraising campaign.


by Carl Raybon

Early in life I assumed everyone suffered the same challenges I experienced: alcoholic parent, absent parent, witnessing domestic violence in the home, feelings of hopelessness, insecurity, abandonment, low self-esteem, etc. (just to name a few!). While I managed to survive and live to the age I am now (57), I did not make the connection to how resilient I am. I was showing resilience by surviving, using the skills and techniques I employed to combat the dysfunctional conditions I was limited to. Skills that served me, no matter how damaging they would, ultimately, prove to be.

Today, I have come to see life in a different light, and in that, in the morning when I rise, my outlook on life is to be the best representation of what honesty, open-mindedness, acceptance, and willingness to treat others as I wish to be treated looks like.

Resilience is enduring and maintaining a sense of being through the challenges, shortcomings, and expectations of others that can deter me from accomplishing any goals or endeavors I wish to achieve. Even if that is just taking life one day at a time. It is the optimism generated from resilience that encourages me to never give up, because I have, indeed, experienced consequences and circumstances that I believed I would not live through, but I did and I learned from those situations. The quality of life I am now aware of allows me the presence of being to share with others what it means to be resilient during times of uncertainty and moments of crisis.


An uplifting story to start your week, too!

It was an incredible (first) experience substitute teaching at @MtTamCollege, a college that runs out of San Quentin State Prison. Here's a little thread to recommend volunteering there to other Bay Area folks.

We're beyond thrilled for Mount Tamalpais College graduate Rahsaan Thomas!