Belenen (belenen) wrote,
Belenen
belenen

wounded people hurt others, but giving can heal / news -- juvenile offenders create & give blankets

I firmly believe that the only reason anyone ever hurts someone else is because they have been hurt. It's a cycle of pain -- we all have brokenness, and our brokenness causes us to hurt others. For this reason, I think it disturbing that we lock people away (which causes them MORE brokenness) and don't do anything to heal them before releasing them into society again. It's treating the symptom, not the cause. I understand that it would be terribly costly to give them help, and that it would be unfair to all of the broken people who have not committed crimes and cannot afford help -- but at the same time, the most compassionate, giving, wise people are the ones who have been deeply broken, done hurtful things to themselves and others, and then been healed. If we truly worked on healing the broken, we would have an incredible resource of wise people to learn from.

We might not be able to afford counseling, at least at first, but we could help heal the broken by giving them the chance to serve. It is such a healing experience to give, and I think many broken people feel that they have nothing to give, and so do not experience this healing. When you give to someone, you are opening the doors of your heart -- then those same doors are open to receiving gratitude and love. For a person who has been rejected by society and placed into jail (or detention), feeling a positive connection with people is absolutely vital. Someone who feels they are going to continue being mistreated and distrusted is not going to take the risk of growing, of finding better ways to live, but someone who feels that there is at least a chance of them being loved and accepted just might be willing to take that risk. We need to show people in prison that they do have a chance of being a productive, accepted, loved member of society.



"Juvenile offenders start life over with a crochet hook"


These people have attempted murder, destroyed people's property, sold drugs, etc. But given the chance to create and to give to others, something changes in them. It's not perfect, of course, but it is a large improvement over the norm: once released, 85 percent stay out -- far up from the national average of 50 percent. The article describes one person's experience in particular: "To see his eyes well up with emotion about the smiles his blankets have brought a needy elderly man and a toddler in a day-care center is to witness genuine tenderness." That person, Branden, was in for attempted murder, and for the first year and a half of his time there refused to join the program. Now he has created more blankets than anyone else, and speaks with real hope about his future.

I hope that people take notice and use the power of giving to change the lives of all inmates, not just the young ones. I believe all people deserve that chance.

((note: I found this article through the Good News Network, a site that collects positive news from other publications. Anyone can submit, so if you regularly read the news, please submit any positive news you find! You can also add the site's feed on LJ: good_news_net))

LJ idol topic 4: "Current Events" ((feel free to vote here if you get something from this post))
Tags: compassion, giving, goodnewsnetwork.org, linkage, recovery / therapy / healing, writing prompts
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  • quick question

    icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

  • LJ idol poll

    icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened…

  • thanks for being wonderful, LJ friends / poll: where do you live?

    icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")" Finally caught up on replying…