When I met him he had already spent over twenty years in prison. It is now over thirty. Whatever his personality and demeanor were like years ago, I believe this is a changed man…and a man to be admired.
He has many reasons to be negative. He is serving time for a crime he has consistently stated he did not commit. His family rarely contacts him. He has serious health problems and receives shoddy medical care. He had no money when he was originally arrested, and he has none now.
And yet, he has great faith. He isn’t bitter. He holds a deep belief that he will, in time, be released. He helps other prisoners who need assistance. He minds his own business, attends bible studies, and does what he can to make his environment a better place in which to live.
I am amazed by this man. I don’t believe I would handle prison life nearly as well as he has! How in the world does he do it? Amid fighting and cussing and unsympathetic staff…in spite of years behind bars and significant health problems…despite boring daily routines and little challenge for growth, he continues to maintain a calm and quiet demeanor. He shows kindness to other prisoners, and to staff as well.
This man has faith and hope and is charitable – even without money. Would that I could admire others with these qualities…others who are NOT in prison! I know that he is not the only one in prison who is like this, and I know there are others like this on the “outside,” but the world would be such a nicer place if we could all just capture more of these qualities!