Arthur Kitty is a street worker for StreetSafe in Boston, which works to reduce youth violence in the neighborhoods most affected by high rates of violent crime. Like most in the program, Kitty has a criminal record and served time in prison. When he gives advice to this new generation of young people on the streets, he is speaking from real experience—experience he hopes he can keep them from going through for themselves. The following was excerpted from a story on wbur.org.
I know a lot of individuals who are incarcerated for life and wish that they could just take back 30 seconds. And I always try to convey that to them: Thirty seconds, just buy yourself that. Just take your time. Whatever it is, just take your time, stop and buy yourself that moment.
Kitty also has faith in some inherent sense of right buried deep inside each of us. “I believe that there’s something that is instilled within us that guides us throughout this thing we call life,” he says. “Something told me not to do this, something told me not to do that. Listen to that voice when it first speaks to you. That’s something that’s embedded within you that hasn’t been polluted by the world.”
He pauses. “I implore them to listen to that voice,” he says. “Listen to that gut feeling. Something’s telling you don’t go down that street. Don’t go down that street.”