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DAY 52 – FORTIFY YOUR BELIEFSRubin Hurricane Carter, a top contender for the middleweight title at the height ofhis boxing career in the mid-1960's, was wrongly convicted of a horrific crime that he didnot commit. He went on trial, and a biased, bogus verdict followed three life sentences.It was a stunning fall from the heights of success and fame. Carter reported to prison inan expensive tailored suit, wearing an elegant diamond ring, and a beautiful gold watch.And so, while waiting in line to be entered into the general inmate population, he askedto speak to someone in charge. Before stepping another foot into the fortress known asTrenton State Prison, he chose to build himself a mental fortress; one that would protecthim, make him feel safe, and allow him to maintain control of his mind. Looking thewarden in the eye, Carter proceeded to inform him and the guards that he was notgiving up the last thing that he controlled: Himself. In his remarkable declaration, he toldhim in so many words, "I know you had nothing to do with the injustice that brought meto this jail so I'm willing to stay here until I get out. But, I will not, under anycircumstances be treated like a prisoner because I am not and never will be powerless."Instead of breaking down as many would have done in such a bleak situation, Carterdeclined to surrender the freedoms that were in innately his: his attitude, his beliefs, hischoices. He embodied the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius who said, "Choose not to beharmed and you won't feel harm. Don't feel harmed and you haven't been." Whetherthey threw him in solitary confinement for weeks on end, Carter maintained that he stillhad choices. Choices that cannot be taken from him even though his personal freedomhad been. Was he angry about what happened? Of course, he was. He was furious. Butunderstanding that anger was not constructive, he refused to rage. He refused to breakor grovel or despair. He would not wear a uniform, eat prison food, accept visitors,attend parole hearings, or work in a commissary to reduce his sentence. And he couldn'tbe touched. No one could lay a hand on him, unless they wanted a fight. Now, all of thishad a purpose, as every second of his energy was to be spent on his legal case. Everywaking moment was spent reading law books, philosophy, and history. They hadn't