Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Watch your lies, they become your reputation
One of my favorite inmate pen pal requests was written by one Daniel Lewis:
After explaining how he was convicted after his gun went off "accidentally," at the end of his letter he says:
P.S. Here's a little poem that I wrote.
Watch your thoughts, they become your words, They become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character,
It becomes your destiny.
Lewis obviously mashed the first and second lines together. Nonetheless, it's a clever poem, so I was a little suspicious about its provenance.
Sure enough, I Googled it and found that it's a well known poem. Here is the correct version:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
The poem is variously attributed to Lao Tsu, Charles Reade, and Anonymous.
No one attributes it to Daniel Lewis.
So Lewis's claim of authorship doesn't exactly lend credence to his statement that his gun discharged "accidentally."
From his picture, it's apparent that Lewis, a lifelong Alaska resident, is an Inuit. I read once a long time ago that the incidence of sociopathy among the Inuit was only 1 in 500, far less than among whites, and that when an obvious sociopath appeared in their midst, the other tribal members would simply push him off an ice floe into the Bering Sea.
I also remember how Amerindians in general felt that the white man spoke with a forked tongue.
In this case, it seems it's the Inuit/Amerindian who is not speaking the truth.
Mr. Lewis has been in jail for ten and a half years, so perhaps he doesn't realize how easy it is to look things up on the internet these days.
I have two pieces of advice for Mr. Lewis.
The first is, don't go near any ice floes.
The second is a little saying I wrote a few years back:
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.