Jhonatan. Life after.
Freedom is …
Today Jhonatan Malek is a young man like many others. He has a home, a girlfriend, and a future to build. His career has just started and already has the flavour of a success story. A degree in Economics, a curriculum vitae that spans social work, law firms and auditing. A perfect profile. A future manager in our society.
Society should go hand in hand with Freedom. “Freedom… I think about the meaning of this word all the time.” For Jhonatan, this word correlates with his past. “I was in prison. For several years.” He talks about it; he doesn’t hide it. “I made mistakes in my life”, and as he talks about it, one can see how the weight of wrongdoing cannot fade with the passage of time. Because of his mistakes, Jhonatan followed a certain path, came across prison where he understood the meaning of the word ‘Freedom’. He understood the meaning when he lost it. In terms of time as well. In Jhonatan’s life there was a moment when everything lost meaning. And he tells the story of the journey he undertook to regain meaning and understand the power of redemption.
Jhonatan tells his story to dozens, hundreds of young people. A story of revenge, of society’s success. Ando so it should be – everyone deserves a second chance. Jhonatan made the effort and succeeded. “I was also lucky,” he says. But he wanted it with all his heart.
Today Jhonatan has a past. It will of course continue to be uncomfortable. There is no eraser to simply delete it. Nor is it right to think of doing so: today Jhonatan is the man he is because of his story. The past is an experience to be told. Yet, at times, it turns into a shadow. Sometimes it is just a fear. Sometimes it becomes more palpable. It is called pre-judging. An unsolicited judgement, at times made of imaginary platitudes, well-established in a majority… that penalises an individual not for his or her real condition. But for a misleading standardization attributed to the individual.
We all make mistakes. And we must all be given the opportunity to understand our mistakes and be able to remedy. This is not just what Jhonatan says, it is written in the Italian Constitution.
Jhonatan speaks of his feeling of freedom to those who do wrong, but also to those who think they never made a mistake. Without pre-judging.
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An individual who, navigating a personal journey through their own diversity, turns it into a strength for themselves and others, becoming a source of strength, energy, and a point of reference.