I keep reading things like “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” as well as “Let go of what you have planned so you can receive something even better.” We all know the list of sayings about trials and strengths and what we gain from them. I’m actually a big fan and totally buy it.
The direction that these axioms have recently taken me is, perhaps, a little off from their intended reaction. Lately, I’ve been thinking about things I learned from our jail experience. Not all of them wise bits of wisdom, but at least I was learning.
With that, let us journey down Memory Lane, into the abyss of hell where I once lived, and enjoy:
Ten Things I Learned From Jail
- If you’re going through a powerful metal detector, wear a sports bra. Under wire = No entry.
- You can actually get an entire meal plus dessert from a vending machine and when asked what you had for lunch, be afforded the opportunity,with impunity, to reply, “I had a Big AZZ burger.” You’ll need Tums afterward. You’ve been warned.
- While the cry from politicians and many of my conservative friends is to hammer inmates with hard lessons and no civilized benefits, with all due respect, this attitude is ignorant and born of sheltered lives. These are complex issues and deserve thoughtful consideration. Where is “In that you have done this unto the least of these, my brethren,”?
- A long drive to jail, a Diet Coke and the Allman Brothers can feel like freedom (“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…”)
- You meet some of the nicest people in jail. True story.
- While we definitely need to be protected from the evils of society, we need to educate and battle all the evils of child abuse. That’s where the action is. That’s where most of it all goes wrong.
- Sometimes the jailers should be the ones on the inside.
- Family. Family. Family. While “walking through the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death” I would choose to walk it with my family. They are those that lift us up the highest.
- That which does not kill us truly does make us stronger. When the worst things you can imagine happen to you, and you survive them, there’s not much left to be afraid of. Now THAT is freedom.
- Service really does assuage our pain. When we are in the worst experiences of our lives, the opportunity to give meaningful service to another is our only respite. It makes sense to use that tool when we’re not in pain because that’s when it brings true joy.