Letter To All Humans    by   Ruth Utnage

I shall wish to come visit you in person, but my figurative chains and literal imprisonment prevent that from occurring, nevertheless, I have a fervent need to speak of a discovery I have encountered while exploring the farthest corners of my soul. I hope this letter finds you in joy inexpressible and with the warm washing waters of self-acceptance.

While communing with my soul in the early hours of the morning, cataloging the catacombs of my psyche for further dignified illumination, I made a discovery regarding courage that I have found to be of the utmost importance for our human lives. You see, courage is challenging a fear, going against a fear. Courage is doing something that is not done by most. It can be an act of bravery, some physical feat it can be something you say, speaking out against some moral injustice. But it can also be challenging your very mind, speaking out against yourself, lo, I will tell you it is this last piece I discovered while communing in my soul.

We believe we are powerless to the whimsical nature of our minds. We are not taught such important scientific discoveries as neuroplasticity that shred the fabric known as character we are clothed in. Such a garment can make us feel warm for a season, at least we are clothed, we say, but over time we find the garment of character, some would call it our ‘nature’, to be its own kind of prison – a restrictive chain tied to a past that we cannot reconcile – therefore preventing movement and forward progression in the worst kind of way, the way that makes you feel helpless. Be fooled not! This is but an illusion of conformity, a restraint of fear and it takes but courage to disrobe our character and clothe ourselves in the warmth of change.

To change our character requires courage because it implies that thus far our character is inadequate or irrelevant, neither of which confirms our intrinsic needs to be right, autonomous, and good. But I deliver this message to you from the mouths of fellow prisoners, change, my dearest fellow human beings, is the strongest act of brevity and courage a human can make. In order to utilize this miraculous science known as neuroplasticity we must but first, try.

That’s right, you must take the first step and try, in faith, that change will come as a result of your diligence and this is precisely why it takes courage. If courage is the measure of a modern hero, and the greatest act of courage in my discovery is the courage to face oneself and admit a need for characteristic change and then enact a strategy to make such changes, then I have been delivered to a wellspring of heroes, prisons. Prisons are burgeoning fountainheads of heroism and strategic neuroplasticity implementation. So many men and women have, through unhealthy and involuntary isolationism in prisons, found both the will and courage to transform their minds and renew their characters.

They have disrobed an unprofitable and disreputable personality and behavioral standard and clothed themselves in the renewing light of change, not because of, but in spite of, themselves and prison. This, my brothers and sisters is heroism.

The need for change is imminent and charging at our souls like a tidal wave and we must make a decision to leave our lives up to chance, luck, or foolish fate or initiate change that will produce an expected result enabling a clear outcome for which we can appropriately prepare. Leaving our lives to chance is a fools game, one which I have chosen not to play and I urge you to take up your burden, face it like the courageous creations you were born to be and have the courage to try.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

Note: This was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.s “Letter To American Christians” out of his book “Strength to Love”, what an inspiring human that we could all learn from, especially today.

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