Guest Commentary: Embracing the Unspoken – The Inevitability of Change

Rodney Wrice

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, we often find ourselves entangled in the whirlwind of change. It’s an undeniable force, ceaselessly shaping the world around us. While some may choose to shield their eyes from its glare, the truth remains that change persists, silently etching its mark on our existence.

The media might shy away from openly acknowledging this reality, but we, the ones who bear the weight of our troubled pasts, speak volumes through our everyday actions—actions that truly define who we are and who we are becoming.

In the shadows of my own history, I’ve come to understand that change is as natural as the ebb and flow of tides. The media might opt for sensationalism or stagnation, focusing on the dramatic narratives that captivate attention. Yet, it’s in the unassuming moments of our lives that we witness the undeniable force of change.

Growing up in a neighborhood marked by adversity and uncertainty, I saw the world through a lens tinted by struggle. Society might dismiss us as products of our environment, static and unchanging. But each sunrise brought with it an opportunity for transformation. As the media spotlight searched for tragedy and turmoil, the real stories were woven into the fabric of our daily lives—lives determined not to be defined solely by past troubles.

The media might overlook the small victories—the young adults pursuing education against all odds, the community coming together to uplift one another, the individuals breaking the cycle of generational limitations. These stories may not make headlines, but they make history. They demonstrate the silent power of change, the evolution that occurs when we refuse to be held hostage by our past.

Through each choice I make, I understand that change isn’t a distant concept but a living force that shapes my trajectory. The media might hesitate to openly admit this truth, but my actions, like countless others’, echo the unspoken acknowledgement of change’s omnipresence.

As I navigate the twists and turns of my life, I’m reminded that it’s not the breaking news that defines us. Rather, it’s the persistent dedication to growth, the unyielding spirit that rises above adversity, and the collective will to create a better tomorrow. Change isn’t just a phenomenon—it’s a testimony to the human spirit’s resilience.

In a world where the media might falter in recognizing change’s omnipotence, we, the silent warriors of transformation, carry its torch through our daily actions. Our lives become the living testament that, while the past may have sculpted our starting point, it’s our journey, our metamorphosis, that truly speaks for itself.

This is my truth: My name is Rodney Wrice, and my life is a testament to the power of transformation and redemption. As an African-American male, I have called San Francisco home since 1969, growing up in the vibrant Western Addition, known as the Fillmore.

My early years were shaped by experiences at Benjamin Franklin Middle School and the influential environment of the Ernest Ingle Boys and Girls Club. However, as a teenager, I struggled with feelings of rejection and found myself drawn into the criminal world, earning a reputation as someone to be feared.

The consequences of my choices led me to the youth authority and eventually a daunting 33-year prison sentence. But even in those bleak circumstances, I resolved to change my life and inspire others to do the same. Behind bars, I embraced a path of self-improvement and growth, connecting with Street Outreach Workers, an initiative supported by then-mayor Willie Brown, to make a positive impact even from within the prison walls.

During my time incarcerated, I discovered a passion for writing and used my voice to advocate “Words and Roll Call,” the tale of one bad guy turned good, which narrates the inspiring story of my personal transformation.

From a youth troubled by wrong choices to a man on a mission to uplift humanity, my journey is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the potential for positive change. I am proud of the person I have become, and my unwavering commitment to my community and the city and county of San Francisco fuels my desire to make a lasting impact.

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