There's a liberal arts college in New York state called Bard and it has been teaching prisoners in New York for years with private funding. It's known as the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and there's a Netflix documentary about it. It's so inspiring. I'm seeing these prisoner-looking people in jumpsuits articulating ideas so eloquently and intelligently, speaking in mandarin and Spanish, writing papers, citing philosophers, debating about the ethics of stem cell. They're crazy intelligent. It's like a boot camp. They go to class from morning until late and then they get together for group projects in the evening. They debated other colleges including Harvard, and BPI won! Maybe because they are incarcerated so there is less distraction and they can focus on reading or maybe because the professors are just that captivating and these people have never learned these things that the professors are teaching. An education, it's so important isn't it? It gives them a reason to live. They want to graduate from Bard.
It is just so inspiring. I love school. I love learning. Watching them learning all kinds of topic from science to culture to philosophy, I'm envious. It's such a beautiful thing to learn. It also shows you how a great teacher can really change your life. The opportunities you get in life can make or break you. A talent with great potential to become a scholar did not become a scholar because he was a poor teenager and he committed a robbery that went haywire to survive.
"A certain hospice worker talked about accompanying hundreds of people in their dying process, and one of the greatest regrets she heard expressed over and over by those on their deathbed was that they had not lived true to themselves. We can spend a whole lifetime trying to meet the expectations and standards of ourselves and others and end up never having lived our own lives. The Persian poet Rumi asked a question that remains relevant today: do you make regular visits to yourself?"