Yes, the inmates and I sing the same song.

Mnemosyne coverYesterday I had a wonderful experience as I met with 70 inmates at the Shawnee Correctional Center.  I spoke for two hours on my latest book, “Mnemosyne:  A Love Affair with Memory,” which deals with childhood physical and sexual abuse.   As I expected, we do sing the same song, that haunting melody I had referred to in an earlier blog.  The strongest connection came when I said, “You can’t know what you don’t know.”  I heard the wheels in their brains begin to turn like a dormant steel mill that hadn’t run for years.  We talked about how we all know the difference between right and wrong, but we have been programmed to act out, which dominants our desire to do the right thing.  Our behavior can be traced back to our childhood — physical and sexual abuse, no role models, and an inability to know how to trust, to feel, and ultimately to love.  Yes, we sang the same song, but now we began to harmonize.  It was a beautiful moment, one that I would love to repeat.

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