Tuesday, May 10, 2011
During my first week here, someone warned me that if you ask a Homeboy how they're doing, you'd better be willing to stick around for several minutes. This enthusiasm to share may exist because most Homeboys weren't afforded much of a childhood, and didn't pick up on the concept of polite small talk during the years when they were locked up, and also because they're so genuinely excited to share their progress in a place they are gushingly grateful to be a part of.
In the lunchroom one day, I noticed that one of our new hires, Arthur, had a broken hand, and inquired what had happened.
"Oh," he said, "I was fighting..."
"Not a great idea, huh?"
"Nah... See, I'm working on my anger, ya know? G gave me this really good book to read on anger management so I'm trying to learn all the techniques and stuff. It's hard, man!"
I commiserated, adding that sometimes I felt my blood pressure rising in LA traffic.
Ten minutes later, Arthur dropped into my office and handed me a well-loved copy of a self-help book on anger management.
"I think you might want to borrow this," he said.
Generosity. It practically bursts through the windows of this place.
photos by http://www.tedanddebbie.com/