DAY-52.docx - DAY 52 \u2013 FORTIFY YOUR BELIEFS Rubin Hurricane Carter a top contender for the middleweight title at the height of his boxing career in

DAY-52.docx - DAY 52 u2013 FORTIFY YOUR BELIEFS Rubin...

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DAY 52 – FORTIFY YOUR BELIEFS Rubin Hurricane Carter, a top contender for the middleweight title at the height of his boxing career in the mid-1960's, was wrongly convicted of a horrific crime that he did not 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 in an 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 asked to speak to someone in charge. Before stepping another foot into the fortress known as Trenton State Prison, he chose to build himself a mental fortress; one that would protect him, make him feel safe, and allow him to maintain control of his mind. Looking the warden in the eye, Carter proceeded to inform him and the guards that he was not giving up the last thing that he controlled: Himself. In his remarkable declaration, he told him in so many words, "I know you had nothing to do with the injustice that brought me to this jail so I'm willing to stay here until I get out. But, I will not, under any circumstances 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, Carter declined to surrender the freedoms that were in innately his: his attitude, his beliefs, his choices. He embodied the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius who said, "Choose not to be harmed and you won't feel harm. Don't feel harmed and you haven't been." Whether they threw him in solitary confinement for weeks on end, Carter maintained that he still had choices. Choices that cannot be taken from him even though his personal freedom had been. Was he angry about what happened? Of course, he was. He was furious. But understanding that anger was not constructive, he refused to rage. He refused to break or 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't be touched. No one could lay a hand on him, unless they wanted a fight. Now, all of this had a purpose, as every second of his energy was to be spent on his legal case. Every waking moment was spent reading law books, philosophy, and history. They hadn't

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