Thoughts on Humanity

I try to imagine what it would be like in the free world; the people, the cities, a child’s laughter and the intimacy of a woman.  I wonder what it must feel like to be around people who mean you well, as oppose to people who wish you hell.  To never let your guard down in an environment where kindness is viewed as a disease that can kill you.  I wonder what it must feel like to release the good in you and not to be judged weak.  Every man in prison battles his own humanity and keeps it hidden in an environment that is harsh and unforgiving.  Humanity is a lamb in a lion’s den.  Humanity is humble and lacks aggressiveness.  Men who are not aggressive physically and verbally are considered passive and weak.  Humanity is weak while in prison, and the weak do not inherit respect.  You must force men to assume that any move against you will bring severe violence.

In all of my eight years of incarceration the world has changed and I am sure that after seventeen more years the world will not even remember my name.  Yet inside prison will remain the same.  It’s as though time is suspended and only the characters change.  Each incident is similar to the one in the past.  The script was long ago written by men who have done time before me.  Prison is a sordid script played by sadist whose acts are not for the faint of hearts; acts that end in cruelty, suffering, and mayhem.

Most men in prison hold onto a glimmer of what life can mean.  We usually view life through contact with our families and loved ones.  This stops most of us from falling into becoming institutionalized, in which society becomes a distant memory.  Our reality hinges on who we are in prison and how well we live by the convict codes.  Contact with people in the outside world can become our savior or it can be a deprogrammer.  You live and breath [sic] your current surroundings.  It becomes the norm and eventually you succumb.  You resign yourself to the madness!

Rehabilitation is not being confined to a prison cell.  It is not a setting that encourages positive change.  The root of true rehabilitation is the yearning to change in ones [sic] life.  It can not be forced apon [sic] a man.  If a man seriously desires change and fights the odds of falling into the abyss, he can develop tools while in prison to rebuild his life.  He can make it right where he once when wrong.

-Johnny

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