The Importance Of Possibility, Chances And Faith

Carla - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Entered on September 12, 2005
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Although we are living in a world where the general mind frame is set to a scale of personal pragmatism, we are often called upon to look at particular events with a “global eye.” I refute the silly idea that we humans are separate from one another. As much as we might try to isolate ourselves, we are simply individual molds of the same clay. I am certain that if every being would take some time to consider its own immaculate, benign, original nature, then we would see with clarity the essential goodness of all people. A good that although is sometimes buried beneath suffering and resentment is still very real and pulsating.

I am currently living in a women’s prison in the state of Florida, where an overwhelming majority of the population is highly “mis-educated” and has been wasted by years of drug or other abuses. As “horrible” as some of their crimes may be, it is not what I see when I look at the faces that surround me. I do not see evil, wicked or mean spirits that have murdered, robbed or smoked their way through life. Instead, I see a bunch of tired, weary, damned souls that have refused their own powerful potential and have given in to the very rejection, anger and ignorance that condemned them at the first place.

No, I do not claim that the nation’s pariahs are themselves victims. I would not dare. I only make the firm assertion that I have yet to find a prisoner here around me, who is truly all bad, rotten and eternally cursed. I know that almost everyone enduring a prison sentence has made a victim of someone, in one way or another — victims on whom we have imposed great sorrow and grief. There are never excuses for such behaviors and no matter what the punishment, there is seldom, if ever, a justification. Still I believe in the importance of possibility, chances, faith.

Confucius stated, “All mankind in the four oceans are brothers.” This I believe. I believe that no person is defined by their worst action, decision or mistake. No person can be judged by a single incident in the grand mass of life. I believe in the goodness that lies in the depth — or the shallowness — of my brothers and sisters. I believe that even though tainted, bitter struck, scarred faces, there shines a magnificent light of tenderness and a possibility of grandeur. I stand strong believing — call it my own little theory of alchemy — that beneath every heart of worn out bronze is a priceless nugget of pure and radiant gold.

Some days, being a blues-wearing, tired prisoner myself, I catch myself being cynical, a skeptic of my own truth. But then, I look to my side and see a 60-year old woman, thin, ashy skinned, hair made of wire, eyes sunken and glow-less, and I notice an almost imperceptible smile. She is staring at the bundled-up baby ducks on the grass — “the prison pets,” so to speak. She pulls a little brown paper napkin out of her bra, crumbling the pieces of bread she “trafficked” out of the chow hall onto the floor. (It’s against the rules to feed birds, of course). Her tiny smile grows. Her mission accomplished. She has fed her quite appreciative babies their lunch.

So, I realize my cynicism only goes so far, I know better. All of our planet’s people are beautiful, special and good in someway, somehow. Sometimes we have been so worn down, corrupted or dissolved by one thing or another that the goodness seem to fade, having coldness, hardness and even sickness.

I believe in the true value of life. I believe in the worth of all creatures and I believe that one day, with a dose of faith and compassion, we will see that we all have within a piece of the treasure that makes us all brothers and sisters of a whole.