October 26, 2014
Top 10 Things I’ve learned in Prison:
#1 In prison you are nothing more than a number to anyone who works for the system. The first question you’re asked when dealing with staff is “What’s your number?” not what’s your name.
#2 A new sense of self-respect. Just being around so many people who have been “broken” by the system and seem to ha e lost all self-respect reminds me everyday not to become one of them. Respect yourself, and respect for others will follow.
#3 A whole new level of resourcefulness–how to turn nothing into something. You’ve all heard the phrase, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, I’m pretty sure that came from prison. I’m pretty sure some of these men could build a mansion from cardboard if they had to.
#4 How to be more self-reliant and not so co-dependent. Nobody is really looking out for you in prison. And the only person you can really depend on is yourself.
#5 Who my friends really are. Coming to prison is a great way to see who’s going to stick by you when times get tough, and who is going to pretend they never even knew you.
#6 How much really can be accomplished from here. So many men say that this time is such a waste of their life. This time is what you make of it. I have not wasted a single day of this time in my life. It’s been less than a year and I have grown so much in such a short time.
#7 How many decent “normal” people there are in prison. Next time you’re out shopping, chances are you just passed a felon. So many good people had a lapse in judgment or ethics which ultimately led them to prison. Everyone makes mistakes in life, just not everyone gets caught. It does not mean they are a bad person.
#8 Self-discipline. In order to make prison serve you and not the other way around, it takes an extreme amount of self-discipline. I have always been a fairly disciplined person, but prison has forced me to reach new heights.
#9 How to adapt to a life without modern technology. As a society we are all so glued to our cell phones, tablets, and computers. Do yourself a favor and take a break for a day. As much as I miss my cell phone, it’s quite a freeing experience not to be tied to it.
#10 And on a lighter note… How to cook a four-course meal in nothing but a microwave. I’ve never really liked microwaves. Sure they are convenient, but toxic too. Prison is about sacrifices, and using a microwave is just one of the many. I hope I rarely need to use one after I leave, but if I do I will have the knowledge to cook a full meal. LOL