Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Toughest Guy In Prison...

To answer this
Lets first start with the opposite view:

The toughest guy in prison is not...

the guy who can physically dominate all others,
it is not the guy who spends the most time in solitary
nor is it the one doing a life sentence
unless he decides to do
the toughest part of “doing time”-
to change oneself.

To change from everything
you have ever known
to become a new person.
That is the toughest job
of any person incarcerated;
Because it immediately separates us
from anyone we may comfortably know.

Where does one begin?
How does personal change occur?
Why is it so difficult?

Here is the thing that makes it most difficult,
we have learned not to trust
our own choices, thoughts, and instincts,
and so we know not where to start.
We can and should ask someone for help
but how do we trust them?
Especially when surrounded by people
to whom we have such little respect.
Will another convict know how to?
Or the guards who look down
with such disdain??

The answer lies both within
and outside the walls we know,
to the people who care most
while expecting nothing in return:
the followers of Christ
who want to share His love.
The toughest person in prison seeks to change
by finding those who seem the weakest,
those who do not hate,
and who risk more of themselves for others.

To change requires an open mind
and learning to do new things
by taking classes,
reading for self-development,
and when ready... teaching another.

Asking for help may set you apart
and leave you alone from everyone else.
And that’s where life gets challenging,
when we break from the ‘norm’
to change, do something different,
a chance at a better life
where those we know
may be to fearful to go.

First, change yourself.
Then, help someone else,
especially if they are unlike you.
Because that is the toughest place to be,
alone and with someone different,
who is looking to us for help.

We are all scared to change
until we someone else who has done it.

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