I suppose that due to our lack of everyday stimulus, prisoners become quite informed about politics and current events. A majority of the guys here are constantly reading papers, watching the news, and having debates. Yes, we even wager on who is going to win elections. While we cannot vote, which I fully understand, we are as engaged as much as we can be. I figure that is a good start toward reintegration into polite society. Well, as polite as a good political discussion can be nowadays.
Because we do not have the distractions of everyday life most of us look for something to keep our minds busy. That is the key to surviving a prison sentence. Some people can handle this well while others fail miserably. In a small way this experience mirrors life on the outside. Some people thrive while others struggle. To take a page out of "Mans Search For Meaning" by Victor Frankel, we all have one freedom that can never be taken away. That freedom is the ability to choose how we are going to act in any given situation.
Being in prison does not need to be a negative experience. Where else can ones sole focus be making a better version of themselves? Granted the food is horrible. True, some of our neighbors are seriously lacking in character, but most of the folks I run into here are quite high functioning individuals. I continue to find myself quite surprised.
Still, I would much rather be on the other side of the barbwire fence. However not all is lost. From my bunk I have a beautiful view of the Cascades!
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