General Prison Talk Discuss the power of compassion... in the Prison Related forums; Think you all will enjoy these...
Compassion is what makes our lives meaningful. It is the source of all ...
the power of compassion...
Think you all will enjoy these...
Compassion is what makes our lives meaningful. It is the source of all lasting happiness and joy. And it is the foundation of a good heart, the heart of one who acts out of desire to help others. Through kindness, through affections, through honesty, through truth and justice toward all others we ensure our own benefit. This is not a matter for complicated theorizing. It is a matter of common sense. There is no denying that consideration of others is worthwhile. There is no denying that if society suffers we ourselves suffer. Nor is there ant denying that the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill will, the more miserable we become. Thus we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
From Ethics for the New Millennium
A must read here...*smiles*
"Love is a language that can be heard by the deaf and seen by the blind."
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."
words to live by...
December 31, 2003
True Story: I was standing at the counter at the post office in Ridgeland, MS about an hour ago when a man who was clearly down on his luck walked in. He approached a man in the line and asked him politely if he could spare three stamps. The man said he couldn't help him. He again asked, and also of the woman next in line, "Please, I only need three stamps." The woman stated she could not help, and the first man responded "Sorry, can't help you! That is the way our system works!" The less fortunate man walked away and said, "Thank you, thank you very much and thank our system." There were probably 10 people in that line and when the man existed the PO, they all began there muttered comments of, "Well, I can't believe that...blah, blah, blah." The postal clerk was checking me out so I could not walk out, but as I was waiting for her I was able to dig six stamps out of my wallet. I ran out when she had finished with me and could not find the man.
I thought to myself as I was listening to those people, "What if that man were Jesus? Would they change their tune?" Next time you pull up to a corner and you see a man asking for spare change, how hard would it be to give him a couple of quarters or a dollar bill? Add a smile or a warm thought and you just might be the person to turn that man's life around. Some may call me a bleeding heart. Truth be told, I would consider that as a compliment. Perhaps if more of us acted from our hearts rather than our desire to be the biggest and the best, our world would be a better place.
"But for the grace of God there go I" is what usually comes to mind when I witness or hear of a situation like this. Boy, have we ever become a selfish and arrogant group of people. My dream of moving my kids to the country and living a life without shopping malls, cars and selfish people is becoming stronger by the day. I decided this morning that the name of our outreach organization is most appropriate in many situations. Guess in one way or the other, we are all "Surviving the System". Perhaps our next project will be called "Surviving Humans".
Too true. Have you noticed the more people have - the less they are? About a couple of years back - I went into Southend Town Centre for some shopping - it was Christmas. We have a large transient population in Southend - it's close to London, and a seaside holiday resort. We also have a large refugee population. In town, there's a large bridge the trains run over - it provides shelter for some of an evening if the town shelter is full, until the police move them on, or the "clubbers" come out drunk and start on them.
There was a guy and his dog under the bridge this particular day - just sitting there, not hurting anyone - people were avoiding them as if they had the plague. They're like that around here Well, I passed them twice - and they just looked beaten, defeated. I didn't give him money - I may be cynical, but the likelihood in that frame of mind - around here, it could have gone on drugs, or booze. So - I bought a Big Mac Breakfast, Hot Chocolate, fresh fruit, and something for the dog. Just dropped it at his feet, and walked on. I didn't want thanks, didn't even want an acknowledgement, didn't want to embarrass the man - he still had his pride there, somewhere. But - I heard some guy and his wife who were close by - they saw me do it - called me a "bloody fool" - nice - all togged up in their nice warm thick overcoats. Made me feel sick, they really did. I hope they choked on their turkey dinner later on in the week, excuse me being so unchristian:
<inserts from surviving the system>
A LETTER FROM A PRISON GUARD
As I write you, I sit in a tower watching and waiting above one of the largest prisons in the state of Alabama.
As I was sitting, I felt a need to write a letter to tell parents and young adult some of the things that I do and see every day in my chosen profession, as a correctional officer.
I see many sorrows, few real honest smiles and less joy. The sorrows come by many things; one person may have missed an approved visit that he may have worked hard to get. The reason may have been that the inmate broke a rule and the visit was denied or postponed as a punishment, or "his people" didn't come for some reason, or no reason at all.
Many sorrows come by a death in the family or perhaps an illness, and the inmate cannot get in touch with anyone to find out what has happened, or what is being done about the situation. I have heard an inmate not much older than myself, preparing funeral arrangements for one of his parents from prison. I caught myself trying to grasp how he must have felt, and I could not imagine the pain or sorrow. Many times the only thing that they can do is to sit and wait, for hours-sometimes days. I have watched grown men break down and cry from frustration over things you and I don't ever stop to think about,
such as a busy signal on a telephone.
Many of us consider no mail as a blessing, sometimes; however, many inmates consider "junk mail" as a blessing because it was sent to them alone. Many receive no mail at all, ever. Some inmates don't know where their family is, or how to contact them, sons, daughters, wives or grandchildren. No one.
Some people will carry a sorrow to their grave, because they will never see "the other side of the fence" as long as they live. Some make the best of the situation. Can you pause for a moment to think what it would be like to never watch TV alone again, or be able to watch what you wanted, or never go fishing or hunting-to hear the sound of the fall leaves rustle under you feet as you walk through the woods with you girl or your wife? If that doesn't shake you, then how about never being able to hold your husband or wife when ever you want to, to pull them close to you and tell them that you love them, never being able to share their company again, or to make love again, as long as you both shall live. You won't be able to enjoy the children as you should, or be able to watch them grow up, to watch him play football, or to watch her go out on her first date, and to wait up until she is safely home. You won't be able to see your grand children grow up, after your children get married, at the wedding you missed, because you were sitting in prison serving a sentence of "life without parole" or will sit somewhere on death row. Where some people fearing, some praying for their time to come, for the execution of their sentence.
Many of us work in a noisy environment-we will stand the pressures and the stresses of the day, to race home for the comfort of our home and to see our wife and children, waiting with open arms to greet us when we arrive.
Imagine living in an environment where the noise seldom stops and the frustrations always runs high and you have very little, in any, choice in what you eat, wear, do or go. You do the same thing day in, and day out, day after day, year after year, with little change. With no one to turn to or no one to lean on, in a place where friends are near non existent and close relationships are even more rare. Debts can cost you all that you have to you name, it can cost you your body, even your life.
My fellow officers and I come to work each day and see the toll it takes on a man to be placed behind a fence and bars, to be stripped of the most private and personal act of being a human being, such as openly caring for someone, or to cry in front of other people, because it may be taken as a weakness. You and I take our freedom for granted. I can promise you that an inmate will treasure the few moments that they get to spend on an eight hour pass with their wife and children. That is the very few inmates that are allowed to take advantage of this privilege.
Many inmates have only a letter or a postcard to hold on to, to keep them going. I have sat for hours and talked with men and their problems, such as their wife has left them, and she has custody of the children, or their parole officer is delaying a parole over a simple matter such as paper work, or a medical examination. Or the officer didn't get to it, he was on two weeks of vacation.
I have sat and looked at pictures of families, a wife, of children and pets and many other things. I have heard stories and the tales about the people in the pictures and have felt compassion for the both of them. I have even cried and prayed for these men when I was alone by my self.
I have often wondered if I had the right to shoot someone that would attempt to escape. With in my reach I have a 12 gage shotgun loaded with .00 buckshot. If the need were to arise that I should have to use it, well, it would certainly maim or kill. I have found an answer. It is in my bible. It tells me that I ma to obey all authority: the State of Alabama is my authority. It tells me that I am to stop an inmate if he attempts to escape, to use the force necessary to accomplish this, which includes deadly force. If it weren't for God's approval the government wouldn't exist.
My job is hard. I must see the sorrows and fears of these men and have compassion as a Christian. As an officer, I must at times do things which seem to show little or no mercy.
Parents and young adults, please listen to what I have to tell you. Teach your children well, to do what is right, teach them how to tell the difference between right and wrong. Teach them that is never too late to come back to our living savior, but most of all teach them how to serve him day to day. Because if you don't, well, I have told you some of the things that I see and witness each day that I walk through a gate , for my Lord and state.
I will leave you with this bible verse; it goes,
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.
<surviving the system>
They say NOBODY is perfect so just call me NOBODY
Wow, yes very touching is right!
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