Oct. 31, 2019

Dear Reader.......10-13-19

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)



Dear Reader,
Hey. I hope you're doing well.

This morning was a cool autumn morning, which I have missed and looked forward to for so long. They'll last for another two months, and then it'll be too cold. So, I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

The heating in my dorm is very minimal. December~March will be fully dressed days. T-shirt, sweater, jacket, long johns, pants, two pairs of socks and shoes. And a cap/tobaggin or towel wrapped around our heads. We get an extra blanket for use at night, but we have to be out of bed by 7 AM with it made military style. And our cells have to be prepared for inspection.

I can't think of any reason why we can't sleep under our covers during the day or have a bunch of paperwork when we work on our cases or any other study when we never leave our cells. My guess and experience is the rule makers don't want us getting comfortable. It's not enough to kill us. They believe we should live in turmoil as well. Anyway, that's a discussion for another day, if you're interested in hearing it.

What's better for me to focus on is how much I'm enjoying this cool morning. I'll watch some news, drink my last cup of hot chocolate, and see what opinions the journalists have on the political dark clouds of our society in America today.

I hope you are enjoying the cool weather and have a great day! ;)

Until next time.

Yours truly,

—There is no man so good, who,
were he to submit all his thoughts
and actions to the laws,
would not deserve hanging
ten times in his life.

Michael de Montaigne
Ch. 9 of Vanity

While his summation of humanity is not entirely accurate, there is a lot of truth in it. Especially when dealing with political and judicial systems...


Replies (1) Replies feed

Cavak Posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 10 months, 3 weeks ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.

I'm enjoying the cool weather too! :) Autumn is my favorite season. With global warming blasting the Earth, it feels like it's getting shorter and shorter. I miss the foggy mornings we'd used to get at this time of year.

About the military style conduct: I remember reading a book that interviewed wardens around the states about it, and their rationale for implementing it varied. Common underlining thoughts were "keeps their minds and bodies active," "teaches them discipline with a daily routine," and (the most dreaded to me) "helps build character they didn't have before with a clean and efficient system."

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven made this sentiment famous on the Internet by sharing valuable life lessons he learned from his time in the Navy Seals. It goes like this:

"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. You’ll have accomplished the first task of the day.

... Making my bed correctly was not going to be an opportunity for praise. It was expected of me. It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task."

While I agree that a daily morning routine may encourage positive qualities throughout the day, military style discipline hampers if it's without the accompanying mentoring, support, and companionship found in actual troops. It's how it can be tolerable at all. I question where the confidence building expressed by McRaven can begin in a solitary confinement setting.

And if there's anxiety ridden or severely depressed people in there, it's close to torture enforcing it on them. It might be too hard for them to get out of bed, let alone stick to a routine. Just like in the "free world," they're in their own world of isolation that can kill them if they can't get out of it.

But that's just what I think.

Humane methods would be preferred. Maybe it's too difficult for wardens to manage over the entire facility? Hmm...

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