Book of the Month: Life Behind Bars

America’s carceral system is deeply flawed. It is filled with deep injustices and its criminalization of black and brown bodies can never be fully stated. Those are facts. More so, the American prison system suffers from the prison-industrial complex. Where to begin? The imprisonment of people has resulted in the massive economic profit and political influence for certain groups. Again, these are facts. 

But what about the people watching over these inmates? Seldom do we hear about correctional officers and staff charged with the responsibility of overseeing inmates.  Here is where the book of this month comes in. Life Behind Bars is a first-hand testament of the author, who spent fifteen years on a tour of duty at the Delaware Department of Corrections (DOC). He provides excellent and never-before-seen/heard insights into the world of DOC in Delaware. 

Don’t Follow Your Passion; Here is What You Should Do Instead

I have written in bits and pieces, on this blog, about not being married to an idea. Even outside of this blog, I’m sure you’ve heard it before: don’t follow your passion. I am here to reiterate that advice or to provide additional nuance to buttress that point.  

It is not that following your passion is bad per se. It’s that any idea that is so romanticized is bound to fail. Even when you achieve the biggest dream, goal, plan, ambition, you would realize you are still the same person, with the same worries and anxieties. And that is a feeling that destroys people. Following your passion is not a specific salve to bring you happiness for the rest of your life. Your happiness, I am sorry to announce, is not unlocked by some true calling or purpose. Your life is not going to be magically wonderful when you finally achieve the uncrackable dream. I am sorry to let you know. The path to happiness is  broad and filled with bumps that you get better at navigating the further on the journey you go.