Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Life Without Love is Prison
One of the priests of the diocese writing for the Pastoral Newsletter had a short reflection on prison life. He mentioned his visit with a woman who was in jail over some money problems. She was a very active member of the parish and he spent some time with her in a visit to the jail. He has never forgotten what she said to him on that occasion.
“Before I came to the jail, when I heard the word jail, the first thought that came to mind, a high wall, prison bars, guards who would be watching the prisoners. Finding myself in this situation, more than these problems is to be in a room with people that I hate and having to live with them. I have to hear the bickering of others, and at the same time inflicting punishment on others. Having to live with people I dislike, rub up with them in daily contact, sleep in the same room, this is repulsive and most difficult. "
Someone in that situation has no time to take a break, no respite from the oppressive atmosphere.
A professor who was in prison for political reasons mentioned something similar. He expressed it by saying usually the poor prefer summer over winter but for us in prison we prefer winter. Although there are many different reasons to value the summer, having to live in close contact with others the 'hate' makes all the difference in choosing the winter. In summer that close contact is living close to a fire all day long. The heat and also living so close with the other you dislike and are disliked is hard to accept. Having to conquer the cold by living closely with someone you hate is a penalty to beat all penalties. To hate the ones who are close to you and be hated in turn is a great misery.
The conclusion of the article was that in our daily lives we have to live with people we like or dislike. If we bicker fight and hate one another like prison, it will be a difficult.
Love, like the light of the sun gives us brightness and vitality, hate brings darkness into our hearts, body and brings sickness. Life without love can not bring happiness.
The aspect of living with people so closely you hate and are hated in turn, never entered my mind as one of the problems of prison life but it does not seem difficult to imagine. Probably the lack of space in the Korean Penal System makes it much more of a problem.