When in Rome

Most days in here, I feel absolutely alone. Even though there is no way for e to truly escape the company of others, I still feel isolated. It’s the loneliness one feels when they are not being true to themselves. I still go through the motions in order to appease the masses, laughing at jokes and feigning interest in subjects that don’t interest me. It’s a little hard t explain but let me try.

It’s not always the most judicious track to be “different” in prison, most of the time is better to conform. Conform to the false principles and distorted viewpoint inmates cling to in a desperate attempt to live by some warped code of honor.  The ridiculous part of this whole story is that most of the men in here don’t even want to live by these codes but just like any other society on this planet, the one in here can be very judgmental and sometimes, even dangerous. It’s like that old game when you stand in front of a train to play chicken and no one wants to be the first to “bitch out.”  At times, it can feel like you’re living in some dystopian world (ala Aldous Huxley) where the most outlandish notions are considered normal and the normal considered outlandish. Because, hey, if we all believe it to be true then it must be, right?

Once you decide to separate yourself from the pack of lemmings, people tend to take notice and even those “friends” that greet you with smiles, can turn on you in an instant. There are a few that will wish you well but prison has way of breeding envy and resentment. Because if they can’t have it, why should you?

As for me, I’m ready to be different but I know I have to be careful in the steps I take. I’ve bided my time, working diligently to build my foundation with the hope to inspire others that anything is possible and we don’t have to be scared to be different. This way of living obviously doesn’t work and it’s time to try something else.

For now, until I’m set up, I’ll pick and choose my moments to inspire and help others, working cautiously through the mob of malcontents and the uninspired. I am reminded of something that Baltasar Gracian once wrote, “… know how to make use of stupidity: the wise man plays this card at times. There are occasions when the highest wisdom consist in appearing not to know- you must not be ignorant but capable of playing it. It’s not much good being wise among fools and sane among lunatics. He who poses as a fool is not a fool. The best way to be received by all is to cloth yourself in the skin of the dumbest of brutes.”

It sucks, believe me but when in Rome, and do as the Roman do. This is the world I live in and change doesn’t happen overnight, so salute to the Roman ways and Hail Caesar!… For now.

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