Mr. Hinton was exonerated after almost 30 years on Death Row. The story is heartbreaking and is linked above for your review. Astoundingly, this innocent man is not an angry man.
Asked why he was not angry, Mr. Hinton responded, "I am a joyful person...I couldn't let them steal what I had left which was joy. They had robbed me of my 30s, my 40s and my 50s so if I get mad and hate them I'm letting them steal my joy."
Most of us know what it is like to be discounted; many of us know what it feels like to be falsely accused; few of us have the experience of being held on Death Row for a crime we did not commit. When I listened to Mr. Hinton, I wept. He had experienced the worst of life, and yet he was joyful. But why?
No one apologized to Mr. Hinton for the mistake that robbed him of his youth, his family, his life. No one offered him reparation for the time he served. The first injustice was met with even more incivility.
How could Ray Hinton be a joyful man?
For some of us, joy can be elusive. We might even spend a lifetime looking for it. But one of the many truths that Mr. Hinton revealed for me is that joy in an interior gift. He nurtured his--in a small cement cage.
I ask myself, where do I or how do I nurture JOY? And, do I let others "steal" my joy?
From a prison, emerges a teacher, Ray Hinton; his degrees earned in a classroom not chosen.