IT’S dark out there.

Statistics show and most people simply know, that the dark effects of drug addiction, alcoholism and criminal behaviour are ravaging families, communities and society itself. The fruit is there for all to see: broken relationships, premature deaths, estranged parents, fear-filled senior citizens feeling trapped in their own homes and a generation of young adults who demand their rights but take no responsibility for others or their actions. The list goes on.

Society must move on, communities long to develop and families yearn to thrive, but their momentum is too often hindered by these negative things. Making progress feels like wading through murky pools of hopelessness rather than blazing a trail to a hope-filled future.

The darkness caused by crime and addiction angers me, maybe because I have been a part of it. But it certainly motivates me to want to push it back. But what do I have to offer?

So what can one man do?

Well, I once heard someone say: “Don't shout at the darkness, simply light a candle.” And that is what I can do.

The outreach work that I do, accompanied by my book, is my candle in the darkness. I use my life story, written and spoken about with openness and honesty for all to see. My hope is that the candle of my life and the light it shines will make a positive contribution towards driving back the darkness of brokenness, loneliness, addiction and pain from the hearts and minds of my fellow human beings. And I pray it inspires you to join me, because a myriad candles make a sun!

Just as the first light from the creation of the universe has never stopped moving forward, my prayer and earnest desire is that the light this book represents will never stop bringing hope to the hopeless, freedom to prisoners of addiction and be a key to unlocking the chains that hold people captive from reaching their full potential.

I choose to light a candle.