My name is Joseph Kwaha, and I’m calling out of SCI Chester. As my buttocks are planted firmly upon this top bunk, my legs are dangling off the side of it. My feet are circling counter and clockwise, and my gaze is affixed to my tightly [inaudible]. I put my truest thoughts and feelings onto the character that forms every expression. What have they become in this moment? Well, he’d become a mixture of many things.
The most dominant thought that I consistently have is: who cares? Why is that thought even so dominant when I once carried myself as if I didn’t care about the welfare of anyone other than myself? Could it be that my own group has revealed how valuable it is to care, or could it be that I only cared because I want people to care for me?
I have to be honest. I do want people to care for me. Who doesn’t want people to care for them? But that is not my reason for caring. I care because through love, dignity, grace, mercy. I care because through love, dignity, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, it is essential. And if humanity has even the slightest chance at thriving. Caring has to be a part of their foundational process. So, whether I know you or not, I care, because I understand how valuable it is.
The meaning of the word “care” can vary depending on who you ask. But can it really? To care is to simply or simply not show concern for the welfare of others. The key words are “concern” and “welfare.” If someone is concerned, whatever they’re concerned with becomes a matter of interest, and whether it’s in humans and whether it’s an animal or a human that person is concerned about, the welfare of that animal or human becomes their focal point.
The acts of caring people are carried out in various ways, so if there’s ever a question about who cares and who doesn’t, don’t listen to what they say and listen to what they do. But if someone’s actions fall short of what we consider to be caring, they don’t care at all, I guess the answer to that question lies in what it means to care.
Caring, continue or continuous, because there’s a difference in the two. Both words mean continuing indefinitely, but continuous means continue without interruption, whereas continue implies the repetition of intervals. So my guess is that caring is more of a continual thing, because caring is in whatever moment it falls. And whenever that moment is relived, caring takes place again, which becomes a repetition with interval.
At times, are people too busy to care, or is it that they feel powerless in this world so they’d rather remain silent in action? There are many people in this world who stand by doing nothing because they feel that their efforts will result in no progress. So if they’re standing by remaining silent and doing nothing, doesn’t mean they don’t care. Again, what does it mean to care? Is caring a thing where actions are required? Of course it is, because if you see someone fall, caring alone isn’t going to pick them up.
Honestly, I genuinely care more than I ever did in the past. Needless to say, I grew within this prison environment. It has forced me to reflect on what it is to be a human and how I must perform in order to make a difference in other’s lives moving forward. I will not make any attempts at convincing others that I cared in the past, because had I did, this would not even be a problem.
When I see children dying and parents crying, it does something to me. If those tragic events don’t spark a care within the people who witnessed them, they don’t have blood running through their bodies and therefore they are not human. I realize that caring is very important, because when you care for someone, that’s someone’s perspective for them, which creates thoughts. Those thoughts produce the actions, and the possible results of those actions are they can care for others in similar ways.
Without caring, a culture of carelessness is created, and we all know the harsh reality of a careless culture. Just look around: it’s everywhere we turn. If we all take on responsible roles in whatever environment we find ourselves, the mentality of people will drastically change. If we don’t, I can guarantee you that someone else will be writing these exact words a thousand years from now in a different way.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.