What prompted me to choose this book?
The book “Shantaram” was recommended by an inmate that I work with who had read it a couple of times. It was a big book, over 900 pages, and I was not real interested in first, but he insisted that I read it, so I did.
What did I learn from this book?
This book is about an inmate in a federal prison system in another country who escapes from prison instead of fulfilling his incarceration obligation. He then flees the country to live abroad in a life of crime in another country. He never gets to see his family or friends again. I learned that, even when we think it’s not fair, we have to do our part, do our time, and work every day to be ready to leave prison, because that day WILL come. We cannot focus on the moment and how much we don’t want to be locked up, but focus on the future and how our lives will be better when we get out.
How will reading this book contribute to my success upon release?
Aside from the main characters criminal aspects, he also does good for the community he lives in, particularly the poor of the city where he resides. I believe that my future has some sort of philanthropic or volunteer work in it because it gives so much additional meaning to life when you work to help others. This book also is a good reminder that people can change fundamentally and live a solid, happy, good life after prison. Or maybe at their core self, they fundamentally were not necessary bad or evil, they made a mistake during a small percentage of their overall life, and they want to do good to society.