Journal Entry: John Dalaly-11/29/2023-Embracing Change

Journal Entry

As I sit down to write on November 29, 2023, I find myself on the precipice of a significant life transition. Tomorrow, my journey will lead me to a place I never thought I’d be—a 28-month prison term. It’s a chapter filled with uncertainty and reflection, and I turn to both my faith and life experiences for guidance.

One verse from the Bible that resonates deeply with me during this time of change is found in Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

This scripture reminds me that even in the face of adversity, trust and faith can lead to clarity and direction.

As a child from Baghdad, Iraq, I learned valuable lessons that have shaped my character. My parents, Iraqi Chaldeans, instilled in me a strong work ethic and resilience. We were a minority, and in some years, prejudice was pervasive. However, our Chaldean Catholic faith was a source of strength and unity.

My father was an enterprising man who owned businesses in Iraq. In 1964, when I was about 10 years old, my family immigrated to the United States in search of greater opportunities. We settled in Detroit, a city filled with promise and challenges. In the heart of Detroit, my father’s supermarket became our family’s livelihood. He taught me the value of faith and hard work, principles that continue to guide me.

While formal education was not my strong suit, I developed a passion for learning through practical experiences. In 1978, I ventured into entrepreneurship with the creation of Dalaly Pop Candy Company, marking the beginning of my journey as a job creator and businessman. Over the years, I embarked on various endeavors, including establishing a mobile medical program for women, infants, and children, and manufacturing ambulances for GM.

Life has presented its share of challenges, including my recent conviction for bribing a public official. However, this setback offers an opportunity for introspection and growth. I am reminded of the importance of resilience and the power of faith to transcend life’s trials.

As I approach this new phase in my life, I carry with me the belief that every obstacle can be a stepping stone toward a better future. I am determined to use my time wisely, focusing on self-improvement, education, and personal development. I am committed to making amends and emerging from this experience as a stronger, wiser individual.

In closing, my life journey has been marked by change, adaptation, and unwavering faith. As I embark on this uncharted path, I draw strength from my Chaldean Catholic heritage, my family’s values, and the wisdom found in Proverbs 3:5-6. Embracing change is never easy, but it can lead to personal transformation and the discovery of new purpose. May this chapter in my life serve as a testament to the enduring power of faith and the human spirit.

Once I begin my life in prison, I will begin to create the workbook that I intend to offer as a resource that will teach others how to find strength while climbing through a crisis.