Reading bell hooks, All About Love, and I learn that the scars that can be found on men in prison are more often than not the result of childhood, not adulthood, abuse. This is at first surprising; upon reflection it is less so. The image evokes rambunctious kids with exhausted parents, ‘caregivers’ whose ignorance, lack of creativity, or simple helplessness leads them to believe that their only recourse is physical violence. One thinks then of the idols that captivate these children, the neighborhoods and poverty that condition them. The examples set by these idols, this poverty, and these caregivers: what could counteract these forces better than love? And not only the kind of love that one received from a friend of the family or an extended family member, but the kind of love embodied in the spirit of charity or social justice.
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