Sounding Off: Changing my way of thinking

I would like to add this prelude to my message. We as a nation are only as healthy mentally and spiritually as the sickest of our brothers and sisters. For we are all related as one species on this planet Earth. When one hurts, we all hurt.

We can do all the mighty works of the God we have forsaken, yet I show you a more excellent way. And, my dear friends, that more excellent way is a complete change of heart for it is not in our doing what seems right in our eyes which has lead to our murdering one another. But ridding ourselves of the evil that lurks in the hearts of all that causes us to get pleasure out of the suffering of others or perhaps being insensitive to the hurts of others.

It was in the year of 2006 that my life took a 180-degree turn. I was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail for trying to keep my business on an even keel by keeping out as much government intervention as possible.

What happened to change my way of thinking, change my very life was this.

Sitting several days in a court of so-called justice watching the judge toss her hair, flirt with the jury, keep out important evidence, mute the ones being tried and then before adjourning to decide whether or not one is guilty, this charlatan brain washed the jury with a threatening speech, telling them to disregard the persons, evidence and so forth and deal strictly with the law.

Now we all know our lawmakers have codes they call laws and are made up as they go along, binding the people and making them subject to the power hungry rulers. Throw in a glib-tongued district attorney working for his goal as the highest number of convicted pawns. I finally was handcuffed and lead to my waiting station. Waiting that is to take a bus to my place in hell where I could get a good look at a pen that did not belong even in a Third World country, say nothing of a nation that professes to be Christian.

After being treated like cattle with no thought from the prodders as to the feelings of those being herded, and a night of sitting on cement in the cold night air as it was January, I entered my cell which happened to be a cement room with no windows housing about 12 so-called convicts. I had already thought my nightmare would get worse as I was placed with these outcasts from society. Instead, they all sat up in bed and muttered to one another, "my God, he has sent us an angel." Perhaps my snow white hair looked like a halo. What, who, were they talking about and why did their voices seem so child-like and grateful?

And then it was that I begin to see the weak of our society being preyed upon by the bullies and the strong. There was not one person in my cell that was not gentle, kind and most attentive to help when it was needed. As a matter of fact there were two deaf young girls frightened like little scared rabbits.

I also witnessed the ones who had the badges and were the ruling powers, prodding me to make one false move so as to be written up, thus increasing my time in jail.

Prison is not a rehab facility. It is a product of a sick society of people who have a greed for money. The ones who have been thrown in this dungeon come out worse than when they went in. Rules are made up to suit the fancy of any deputy to feed his already inflated ego on bullying and tormenting the already frightened. I had not a clue what their rules were as I was punished for something I did not know I did. The punishment was sitting for hours on a cement bench with no back wondering what I was doing there. People peering through blackened windows were watching to see how I would react to their taunting, their means of joking at the expense of the prisoner.

Most of the prisoners are in what is known as lockdown with 24 hours of nothing to occupy their time. This gives the deputies more time to watch TV, play cards or whatever is done behind the darkened windows.

Now back to my cell of 12 convicts. The room was perhaps in the low 60 degrees or high 50s. I tried to sleep but the cold kept me miserable. With one thin blanket, no pillow and a short-sleeved jail uniform, sleep was almost impossible. Soon the so-called convicts started gathering around me. One gave me a blanket she had, one shared her stash of coffee, another a morsel from her meager stash and they all asked me to tell them about Jesus.

In the seven days spent with these sisters of mine, God began to form a family, a little community. We prayed together, sang together and shared together. I saw first-hand the more excellent way taking place. One feisty little lass called her husband and apologized for being a burden to him and asked his forgiveness. He, of course, wondered what was happening to her.

And from that day forth, I promised my God and myself that I would do all I could to bring hope and the love of God to these who are a prey to our sick nation. You all know by now, our big crooks are in high places of government rule.

Let us all make it our business to bring forth a new nation where all are willing to bear the humiliation of change and usher in that more excellent way of life doing to the least of the brethren what we would want done unto us.

MARIE KOLASINSKI lives in Costa Mesa and is a leader of the Piecemakers religious organization.

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