I know you are busy during the summer. Contrary to popular belief, school administrators do not get a three month paid vacation, and in fact, the summertime is often pretty hectic. But surely you have time to read a book or two.
So here’s my suggestion for the top of your list: “Getting Life” by Michael Morton. Name sound familiar? It should. Mr. Morton is the fellow wrongfully convicted of the brutal murder of his wife. He spent 25 years as a guest of the Texas Department of Corrections before DNA evidence, The Innocence Project, and a group of incredibly dedicated and talented lawyers wrung his release from the foot-dragging Texas justice system. Besides being a compelling true life story, the book is noteworthy because Mr. Morton is a gifted writer. He spent his time in prison improving himself, earning both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. The book gives a chilling portrayal of prison life, counterbalanced with the joy of the simple pleasures of life on the outside after so long behind bars.
There are hundreds of people, wrongfully convicted, who have now been freed due to the work of the Innocence Project. What makes Mr. Morton’s case uniquely inspiring is the genuine forgiveness that he radiates. He has every reason to be bitter, angry and self-pitying. But there is none of that in the man. I saw him interviewed by Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune at a fundraising dinner recently. Mr. Smith asked: “How do you keep the anger from spilling out? How do you repress it?” Mr. Morton responded: “I don’t repress it. It’s gone. It’s not there anymore.” The book tells the story of how that happened.
A good book by a good man. Well worth your time.
DAWG BONE: NO BLUE BELL THIS SUMMER, BUT WE CAN STILL READ GOOD BOOKS.