When Compassion and Forgiveness Are No Longer Theoretical
The Marshall Project, a journalistic nonprofit that covers prison reform issues, recently published a fascinating piece by Kimberly Malone, who teaches a Friday night theology class at New York's notorious Sing Sing Correctional Facility. A longtime volunteer in prisons, Kimberly had always declined to look up her students' crimes. It would serve no real purpose, she thought, and might even impede her ability to view her students with kindness. If I know more of their history, will I still view them the same way?
One evening, however, prompted by a discussion in class, Kimberly broke her longstanding personal rule and looked up the crimes and resulting media coverage of each of her students. What she learned -- about her students, about herself, and about the nature of forgiveness -- is worth contemplating.