Saturday, July 15, 2006


On Being Human

The promise sounds great. God will give you a new life, take off your prison clothes, spring you outta that dead, cold place and set you free. Free to be human. It's like standing outside the candy store looking at all the wonderful colors. Then you go inside and face the reality of choice, and limited resources, and overindulgence, and a free life that somehow looks a lot like the old prison.

It takes a lot more than simply opening the door to get out of jail, it seems. Such as walking out there, and staying out there. Any ex-con has a hard time making the transition to life outside the Big House. This... is supposed to be joyful? Why isn't freedom more fun?

Normally a child learns how to be human as he grows up. They seem to be resilient. As I learn this all I can think about is what happens if I fail. You can't fail in prison: life is dictated, no decisions, a level so low that falling off is no big deal. Falling only hurts when you're up high.

Nobody fits a standard mold, but that doesn't keep human systems from trying to force people in there for the sake of convenience. We get used to it, and think that's the way all things work. If it isn't a duck, make it quack and walk like a duck, and it will be a de facto duck. Eventually you'll get used to it, and think that's the norm. This is a crime against human beings.

I guess I'm being de-quacked. I don't know what I am. I'm not the duck I thought I was but right now I'd rather quack than quake. That's no longer an option. God's hand leads only forward.

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