Saturday, April 11, 2015

‘The Character of People’

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I spent the entire day yesterday at visit with Kevin and it was a really good day. We sat outside, being that the weather was beautiful, and casually discussed a great many topics. At some point, he mentioned that he had noticed that I was speaking of certain affiliates here less and less. He was very curious as to why that was. My answer, as complicated and perhaps even judgmental as it goes, was this: The more time that I spend in prison, the older I become and the less I want to associate with the people around me. For some reason, their negative character traits have become so increasingly clear and apparent to me that I simply choose to have no association with them, if at all.

Somehow, (and mind you, I hate to admit this…) I have become incredibly judgmental toward certain character traits within people. I think many of us are this way, but it’s just so difficult to really admit it. It’s easier for all of us to simply state how we are not judgmental. Personally, I think its critical when selecting various friends and associates, but you may of course, disagree with me on that. There will always be things that are important to me that may not be important to the next person. And that’s okay. In fact, I readily accept that. Similarly, there are things that are really inconsequential to me that may e very important to another person.

In my opinion, these are the most prevalent negative character traits of an inmate in prison. (There are exceptions, but the following list most certainly represents a sizeable amount of the prison population.)

A lot of guys, still after being here for years, refuse to accept any type of authority. They remain only devoted to themselves and can be very disloyal.

Everyone lies, both in and out of prison. Some lies are mundane and unimportant. Others can be very damaging and harmful. In prison, it can be life threatening. The levels of deceit that some of these guys go to accomplish what they want is scary. Because they do so, I realize that there are no boundaries with these men.

I believe that this behavior is conscious and that we, as humans, should be kind to one another. Unfortunately, I have witnessed cruel and unkind behavior from one person to another even before coming to prison. Within my stay here though, I have been hard pressed to witness any authentic act of kindness from most inmates.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I don’t see how allowing oneself to be manipulated by other things or other people can be a positive thing. To me, it is a clear cut sign of insecurity and weakness. When I meet people like this, (and there are many here in prison) I become very nervous. Is it so hard to self direct your own life?

This is the last, but worst item on my list. I suppose that because it hits home in such a way that I judge people the most on it. I myself used to blame everyone for everything in my life. All the while, I never stopped to look in my own mirror. It’s a tough thing to be accountable and responsible but, we need to be in order to evolve, grow and better ourselves. If we are unable to do that, then what’s the point of living a life in which we try to be productive?

There is a certain amount of leeway that needs to be afforded to men in prison however, and I am the first to say that this life is NOT easy, in any way. What bothers me is that so few have any desire to better themselves, to change, or at least, be accountable. Instead, the majority of inmates come into prison to pick up new negative character traits and/or habits. It is very disturbing when you look at the big picture.

Look – no one is perfect. I am certainly far from it but, I do judge just as others judge me. I am not entirely sure if it is something to be seen as a weakness, or a negative for me, but it has certainly evolved over the time I have been in prison. At the moment, I am not too sure if there any way of getting around that.

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