Yesterday I heard on the news that the Code Orange
terrorist alert was
rescinded. The nation is back down to the less ominous sounding "Code
I don't suppose that things will change very much for
most of America's
citizens. I don't think many people pay much attention to these alert
On Monday morning my chaplain will probably begin to
contact the many
volunteer ministers who come into Sullivan Correctional Facility to inform them
that it is now okay to return to the prison.
Things like this remind me how vulnerable I and the
other prisoners are to
outside events and situations.
Thankfully there were no terrorist attacks on the United States. But
something happened, even if it occurred on the west coast, and as a result, the
alert code was elevated to "Red", my entire prison would probably have gone
into a "lockdown" mode. All the inmates would be in continuous cell
confinement, and almost all activities inside the prison would have come to a
stop. Perhaps even for many months.
However, I have learned to be thankful
for what I do have.
It's like the story I've heard so many times about
the man who always
complained that he had no shoes, until one day he met a man who had no feet.
When the grumpy man who was lacking shoes suddenly
came upon a man who had
no feet lying helplessly by the side of the road begging for coins, he was
Immediatly he realized that his situation was not as
bad as that of
others. He was more blessed than he previously thought, because surely
infinitely better being shoeless than footless.
And like the man without shoes, we tend to think that
we're doing worse
than everyone else until we meet a person who is in a worse condition.
So while I do not like being in prison, and I don't
like having to be so
vulnerable, the truth is that things could be a thousand times worse for me.
Whatever God blesses me with, let me be thankful.
January 10, 2004
(c)2004 David Berkowitz