Journal Entry: Melinda Bixler-11/16/2023-No Joy in Pain

Journal Entry

No Joy in Pain

Today while working, I heard the code for Officer down across the walkie talkie. Every officer ran to support their fellow officer. Sadly, I heard inmates cheering and mocking the fact that an officer was down. I don’t care who you are, what your story is, or anything else, THIS situation was about compassion, concern and giving a damn about another human being. I understand bitterness, but I’ll never understand how joy comes from harming someone. My heart sank.

This environment is very much designed to be a ‘them against us’ or ‘us against them’ dynamic. People feel a lot of negative emotions about what’s happened to them, sometimes by these same officers. In here, people tend to become institutionalized after a period of time. It’s gradual. So much so that I’m not sure they even fully recognize the change. In a sense, they become desensitized to others’ emotional and physical pain. Their sense of compassion may decrease as they become more jaded and self-centered. The internal fight between good and evil always exists for every human being on some level.

What I witnessed today was the result of ongoing personal suffering that has metabolized, and created a result very different than many would like to think happens within prison walls. This isn’t the punishment or “corrections” society prefers to believe it to be. I will never cheer for another person to be harmed. While others curiously gawked, I prayed for the officer and then resumed working. Do we really take pleasure in someone else’s pain? It doesn’t change anything, certainly not for the better.

One of the challenges of serving time is trying not to lose faith in humanity. It’s imperative that we don’t lose the good while living through a lot of bad. Having faith in God has been my saving grace. I’m grateful.