Exoneree shares message of resilience amid COVID-19 crisis

Ricky Kidd on COVID-19 Cr
Posted at 8:58 PM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 23:23:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some people took a stroll, sunbathed or played games over the weekend during the coronavirus pandemic. However, others stayed hunkered at home.

"I tell people, you don't know what freedom is like, until it's been taken away from you," Ricky Kidd, an exoneree, told 41 Action News on Sunday.

Kidd spent 23 years -- more than half his lifetime -- in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

"In your mind, you're thinking at the time, how am I going to get past this?" Kidd said.

41 Action News met Kidd six months ago, moments after he was free man.

Since then, he has traveled around the country sharing his story of resilience.

He said he believes humans are designed to adapt in situations like the one people are facing worldwide, as stay-at-home orders are issued and social distancing is put into place.

"Just really shifting our mind to say, you know what, I'm not going to be a victim, I'm going to be a victor," Kidd said. "And that's what I had to do, Andres, I had to switch my mind."

Once there's acceptance, Kidd said a person must find some energy.

"What is it that moves you? What motivates you? What can you access? What can you plug into that can say, ‘You know what? I'm going to get up, and I'm going to do something about this,'" Kidd said. "Recognizing that this won't last forever."

While at the same time being of service to others.

"Helping our neighbors, helping individuals who might be in need, who might be in a little better position or a less better position than you are," Kidd said.

Kidd said he views this crisis as an opportunity for society to reset its perspective.

"As ugly as it is, as much as we don't want it, as much as it probably shouldn't have happened, it's here," Kidd said. "We have to contend with it. And I believe that if you look at it in the way that I've just explained, we'll come out. We'll get through this much better and we'll come out of this much better."