March 10, 2011

Kindness in Dark Places

This is an inspiring book with seventy short , heart-warming true stories of acts of kindness by strangers with contributions by prominent Australians, including CEO of Enough is Enough, Ken B Marslew. Please read his story.
My 18-year-old son, Michael, was murdered during an armed holdup.
In the early years following Michael's murder, I began running programs in correctional centres across NSW. Remember I was a very angry man; I still am, although I use my anger in a positive way these days.
I was working with a group of serious offenders, about a dozen men. My subject was "personal responsibility."

During the presentation, one of the offenders said, as many do, "It wasn't my fault." I challenged him: "Whose fault was it?" As the excuses flowed I got aggro and said," Don't you understand what responsibility means? You crap on to everyone, including yourself. When are you going to grow a set, and accept the truth about your behaviour?"

At this point the inmate, a big man with a shaved head and many prison tattos, jumped to his feet and lunged at me.

To my surprise, two of the other inmates in the group also jumped up and restrained the original  inmate, saying, "Can't you see this bloke is trying to help you? Sit down, shut up and listen." He did.

This act surprised me, and was one of many things to happen to me in prison, which made me  see inmates in a different light.

Even in the darkest places, there is good in the supposed worst of us and, dare I say, there is some bad in the best of us.

Ken B Marlsew AM is a NSW Senior Australian of the Year 2010 State Finalist. He was foremost in establishing the Charter of Victim Rights in 1996.

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