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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letters from The Dhamma Brothers

I just logged on to update my books listing and laughed a bit when I noticed I was logging this book right above the Tori Spelling book. I guess my taste in reading runs a wide spectrum. I do need to say a few things about this book. I heard the author - Jenny Phillips - being interviewed by Oprah on one of her radio programs. For some of you, that's enough of a reason to stop reading right there, but the author and Oprah were talking about one of the course participants and part of "his story", why he was in prison. It cut right through me.

". . .one day Grady's mother dressed him and his three-year-old brother, Danny, in their best clothes, drove them out into the countryside and left them on the porch of an old abandoned house at the end of a long driveway. She instructed them to stay on the porch, that Grady was to take care of Danny and that she would be back to get them. After standing there all night Grady climbed down and found an old hubcap filled with rainwater. He also found a dead bird. These were the rations that kept the boys alive. Their mother never returned. In the days following their abandonment, Grady tried to care for Danny, who had a weak heart and had always been frail. But they were not found for several days. danny later died and Grady was filled with guilt about his death."

This is just one of the many stories of despair and desolation these now-hardened criminals experienced as children or young adults. Reading this book really opened my eyes to the justice system that simply locks away people and throws away the key. Maybe there could be hope for renewal and rehabilitation - no matter how troubled his beginning - no one should be tossed away as if he means nothing.

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