The Promise from Prison

Where and how do we spend our time?

This past 2 weeks I made literally no money at a couple of gigs, and instead donated a lot of time to speak to people who needed to hear The Promise.  Whether it was a youth group, religious events, educators, family counselors, or even in a place where most speakers never dare to go even when invited: The Prison.

Granted, it is so wonderful to receive kind comments from audience members as they give immediate feedback on how changing one simple word in their life makes all the difference.  From a “Goal” to a “Promise” brings the highest level of commitment. Everyone prefers to keep a promise.   I love how this message resonates in business and life!

However, it hits from a different angle when you get a letter from an inmate in prison two weeks after the event.

Was once a stranger, now a friend, I can’t wait to help him get his feet on the ground when he serves his time.

But I’m not waiting til then to help him.  My promise is about now.  BE PRESENT is the essence of a promise made and kept.  Not someday, not somewhere else….NOW.

What he doesn’t realize is I sent him a letter the other day, before realizing he had written me, too, and he’ll get it soon.

You see, we never met before the gig, but upon hearing him introduce me with his SLAM POETRY and aspirations to become a Speaker someday I knew I was in the presence of greatness.  It was beautiful what he did.  Standing ovation from his inmates, cheering him on.  It’s rare for me to be upstaged before I take the stage.  But this is now my brother.

So I wrote him a letter to suggest he continue his pursuit and I have his back.

Nothing like the present to uplift another, to show love, to care, to breathe life into another’s hopes and dreams.

When we acknowledge those in the audience, be it your customer, client, anyone that serves you well or gives you business, how do you say thank you?  Do we recognize greatness enough in those around us?

If on the Team at work, those we see everyday, how do we find a way to uplift and encourage those we work with so often?

And then, once home, with our Home Team, our Family, are we giving everything we have to the customer back at work yet leaving nothing for the family at home?  Or are we treasuring the moments with these beautiful people?

This young man, from a prison cell, just filled me beyond measure with gratitude for taking the time to write as I read his letter and the tears flowed.  Woah – this is sobering.

How present and engaged am I to those that are here, now, and how do I love them strong enough?  Do I leave them wondering if I’m present or thinking of being somewhere else?  Is my phone and Facebook as my distraction more important than the child waiting for me to look up?  Is the lunch meeting with an old friend or new client just another casual moment as I think of where else I want to be?

I know this: Going to the prison makes me want to do all I can to always be fully present and keep that promise.

So grateful I took the time to go speak to those good-hearted men in the prison.

~ jason hewlett

Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration.  Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys.  He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite.

Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.

To hire Jason to speak at your next event, inspire and uplift, entertain and engage, please contact Karen Harris at



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6 thoughts on “The Promise from Prison”

  1. Thanks for sharing this story. It touched me. Maybe I needed to hear these words today.
    We’ll certainly miss your very special voice at our event University Diversity Mash-up event this year, but the 3 speakers you recommended are all very excited and willing to participate. They each have a unique perspective to share, and I’m sure the kids will love them!
    Thanks Jason!

  2. Some of my favorite memories were attending church @ Vacaville State Prison while living in Ca.
    The men there chose to attend church and the spirit in that meeting gave me goosebumps. I’ll never forget how they sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” with such conviction it made me cry.
    I’ve been in your audience before and you have a gift and talent that truly can make a difference in lives.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!!

  3. Thank you for your wonderful stories and inspiring attitude. Your message makes me want to be better and love more.
    Thank you brother.

  4. So glad to hear that you spoke in prison again. I remember when you came down to the Gunnison prison to speak. You are an amazing entertainer. It was nice to see you again performing at Roots Tech. Keep up the great work.

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