Monday, November 18, 2013

Were Not All Bad

A lot of people out there may not have a clear picture of what convicts think about tragedies that occur out there. And, for the most part, they would be correct in assuming that a lot of these guys are apathetic, uncaring, and self-centered when it comes to pain they don't directly take part in. In many cases the only expression of compassion and community-mindedness come in the form of vengeance on the guilty parties of victimism on the streets (I'd kill that child molester if he'd been in my neighborhood.....etc.).  But there are exceptions and they usually come in the quiet moments in the cell or at the dinner table when only a trusted ear is around to judge those thoughts. Last night I heard a guy talk about the terrible destruction suffered over in the Philippines, and how it would be nice to be a part of some sort of effort to help restore people to homes who've lost them, or construct buildings and bridges for the communities most impacted. This led to another guy entering the conversation and bringing up the topic of the recent Oklahome tornado disaster and how he would have acted so differently now had he been present to help the victims...

     When I mentioned that the thoughts these guys were offering sounded a lot like men who wanted to change their communities for the better- and stand against stupid shit like drug dealing and the familiar levels of violence they grew up with, they attempted to draw a a disaster and a lifestyle two different mediums for action. I disagreed, and everyone out there knows that I am right when I defend the change necessary for a convict to become an acceptable member of society. These guys don't require big arguments to convince them, really. I think we just need a few opportunitites and the right examples telling us, "You still hold value- we want the best you have to offer."

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