This I Believe

Jan - Grandville, Michigan
Entered on May 22, 2006

I believe in kindness. The way I learned to believe in kindness was to work in a place that had none-a men’s prison. Prisons are bizarre places. People who work there are able to decide how to treat helpless fellow human beings. It becomes a “Lord of the Flies” experience. Those who truly are kind, remain so. People with a sadistic bent , one that is kept in check by the societal rules that bind us all, find prison a place where they can express their inner Nurse Ratchet. “They ain’t got nothing coming”, the correction officers I worked with would say about the prisoners. I wasn’t shocked over the Abu Gahrib prison scandal. Saddened yes, but I had seen it all in a small prison in West Michigan. Human nature doesn’t change. So I have become a believer in kindness. Open the door for the person behind you. Let someone in heavy traffic merge in front of you. Send a card. Offer a smile. These small things change the universe.