• Anne Royse

Sins of the Father

I live in Seattle where people are known to be open-minded for the most part. So I'm caught by surprise on occasion when I run into someone who judges me to be a potential jailbird, because "those thievery tendencies could run in your DNA." That's a direct quote from a recent first date, upon learning someone in my bloodline went to jail. Spoiler alert: He didn't get a rose. No second date.

I never met my birthfather. He gave me a better life. I was adopted into a wonderful, loving family. My "thief" of a birthfather once told his sister he was going to do something "a little bit illegal" because he thought it was his only shot at staying sober and alive. Once sober, he thrived. He helped fellow inmates get their high school equivalency certificates. Many people have bettered themselves with his help.

I figured if a man in prison can find purpose, there's hope for the rest of us. Grateful that I was given a better life, I set out to help others discover their inner hero.

Next thing you know, I'm sitting on a stage in Rio de Janeiro, preparing to accept a United Nations award for creating a nonprofit that shows huge innovation toward achieving world peace.

Why innovative? Because it harnesses the power of anyone to solve real world problems. The autistic child. The South African girls who missed school to fetch water, and the inner city kids who were caught with drugs... anyone.

I prefer to look for the good in each person I encounter. The irony is, that's what my last date's profile said.

I guess I should have swiped left.

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