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Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever held "firm" opinions or assumptions about a situation, but did a complete 180 when actually exposed to it?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43079points) December 9th, 2011

Well, I used to agree with “everyone” who said, “Prisoners deserve every discomfort they get! That’s what they get for doing something bad and being put in prison! It’s not supposed to be a walk in the park!”

Now I teach in a prison. My students average about 25 years of age—the same age as my children. I see them as human beings. Some of their stories break my heart. For so many of them, winding up in prison was almost fore-ordained. The other day a student asked me to get on THE KASPERS website…where we looked up his father, his brother and half brother, a cousin, AND his mother.
I love these guys almost like my own kids. I want to DO things to make their lives a little easier. And now I want to kick people who say, “Oh, they don’t deserve ice water with their meals! That’s what they get for being in prison!”

It’s frustrating because people who say that, including me when I used to feel that way, don’t realize that there, but for the grace of God, go all of us.

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7 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have always had sympathy for the underdog—the ones most despised by the majority. There may have been times when I’ve had to change my assumptions, but I can’t remember them.

Oh, now I remember one. Once I believed in price controls because I thought the oil industry was gouging the little guy. After a graduate education, I realize that price controls won’t work.The little guy would be worse off, not better.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you expound on the price control thing @wundayatta?

wundayatta's avatar

If you have price controls, then people can’t get paid enough to cover the cost of production. Also, they have no incentive to produce more, since they won’t make any more money. So shortages will continue. When there are shortages, the wealthy find ways to get what they want, and the poor, the people we wanted to help, get shafted. Far better to let prices go up and up until no one buys the stuff, and then they come down.

Oil has always been a boom and bust industry. On average, they don’t do as well as it might seem during times they are making huge profits. There are also times when they do quite poorly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I appreciate the GQ’s, but ya’ll supposed to answer! Like…do you feel differently about raising children now than you did before you had them? Stuff like that. Come out, come out wherever you are! Don’t be shy!

Mariah's avatar

I didn’t feel really strongly about it, but I did think I would never want to take psychoactive medication. I didn’t want anything “messing” with my brain.

Now I know: depression messes with your brain. Medication makes it normal again.

KalWest's avatar

There but for the grace of God, go all of us. Absolutely… and in answer to your question, yes, I have been there. I used to think that people who can’t meet their financial obligations (mortgage, credit cards) were irresponsible losers. Until a few years ago when I went through difficult financial times… less judgmental now :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Happy feet here!

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