My main motivation is Tariq. I know that I can never do anything to undo or make up for killing Tariq but I can live my life atoning for my actions; striving every day to make amends for the life I took and the lives I’ve traumatically impacted when I murdered Tariq and much later while I struggled to make the necessary changes in myself. My motivation now is to honor Tariq; acknowledging that I took his life away from him and living every day trying to make amends for that. I will forever carry the responsibility of what I’ve done to Tariq, his family and the community with me in my heart and at the fore front of my mind; the pain and suffering that I caused, the joy and time I stole. It propels me forward in this life constantly reminding me to be better than I was yesterday, to create peace where I can, to make better decisions striving to be the solution and not the problem.
I’m inspired by that fact that Azim and my grandfather have taken the tragedy that I caused and reshaped it in order to help others; not allowing Tariq’s death to be in vain. I aspire to live my life rather free or incarcerated with that same sense of purpose. I hope to honor, in word and deed, the man that I murdered 24 years ago.