I’m writing this paragraph whilst listening to the ‘Rudimental’ album, ‘Home’, having just read through the CD sleeve. It’s a powerful album and in the sleeve I came across a powerful thought. They say “Surround yourself with good people and everything else will fall into place.”
It’s a beautiful thought and it’s sort of true. But only sort of. Having good people around, any good people, is important and great, but that’s not enough to make everything fall into place unless you have only good people around you.
Take prison for example. I’ve met some genuinely good people in here. I’ve met prisoners who I am sure are innocent and others who say they are but really just wish they were – people who made one stupid mistake that haunts them every day and would not dream of ever repeating it. I’ve met people who openly admit their guilt and express their remorse – people who have genuinely changed, and I’ve met others who are guilty and really don’t need to change – people who are prisoners of conscience in ways I can’t even begin to explain here. And staff too. I’ve met officers who do the right thing no matter what – even if it costs them the support of certain colleagues or loses them their job (and it often does). I’ve also known prison teachers who have genuinely changed my life – including one who has been a real friend even since leaving the job (Abby, you’re a legend and a friend for life). I’ve seen humanity come even from the people prisoners expect it from least – psychologists. Prison is full of good people.
However, I have also met some mad, a few sad, and a whole lot of bad people along the way too. So I steer clear of them, sticking to those I trust whilst trying my hardest not to judge those I don’t. The trouble is, not all of the bad ones are prisoners. Some of the worst are in uniform. It might be true that they are not all bad, but it’s not easy to stay away from those that are when they impose themselves on almost every aspect of your daily life.
No matter how many good people you surround yourself with, as long as there are cons and staff intent on sucking the light from the world around you, things will never just “fall into place”. Life becomes a fight. A fight to stay positive. A fight to do things right. A fight not to fight.
Only one thought gives me heart; A thousand shadows can never extinguish a single match. Light will always triumph over the dark.