Three things I learned about the lifesaving power of kindness and learning

shakespeareShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard  by Laura Bates.
1. Doing good–even for those who have done bad–is a good thing. We all benefit from kindness and compassion because…
2. Human beings tend to become who the world tells them they are. If we treat others—even prisoners—like animals, we shouldn’t be surprised when they act like animals. Whereas, if we treat others with respect and recognition of our shared humanity, they may begin to see themselves in that way.
3. Not all prisons have walls. Some are of our own creation. When we tell ourselves we can’t do something, that is a prison in a very real sense. And even in an actual brick and mortar prison, the mind can be free.
This book tells the true story of the transformation one teacher made in the lives of desperate, dangerous and hopeless prisoners. Larry Newton is one of those prisoners. He was sentenced to “life without” at the age of seventeen and spent a decade in solitary. When Larry began to study Shakespeare with Dr. Bates he began to see life from a different perspective. He could see that others have felt what he felt, faced what he faced. And while still challenged by a life in prison, he learned to set himself free with learning and passion and purpose. It saved his life. Read it to discover why he believes that learning has the power to save a lot of other lives as well.
Powerful stuff here. Highly recommend.

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