ethel’s words

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PETTINESS IN PRISONS

There is more than one kind of prison. There are those with bars, huge doors that clang shut (emphasizing closing of the door); guards who watch for any expression of humanity; places of special torture: maximum shut-in; the hole; the restraint chair that kills slowly in an agony known only to the dead.

Then there is another kind. This is a prison carried in the mind and heart. This prison locks OUT every thought of joy, of kindness, of gentleness. It causes the other (bars) kind of prison to be super-petty in super-cruelty. It is that which dictates that when an inmate must be taken to a real hospital, all windows in his compartment are covered with black so that he/she cannot see the sky, the mountains, the trees, flowers, free people.

And when a man is sentenced to die at sunrise, and he is asked what he would like for his last supper, leading him to believe he has a choice, and he asks for a can of beer, the prisoned-mind-set dictates that this man about to die by vindictive hands, must not be allowed to have a beer.

How petty can a humanoid get?

Ethel C. Hale