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Released from jail - my thanks to all!

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org)
Date: Tue Dec 16 2003 - 18:52:13 EST

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Good People & People of Faith,

I've finished my current jail sentence. I was released last Friday and
was thankful it was a few days earlier than expected.  I spent the
weekend enjoying "freedom" and just catching up on work, bills, and at
home - also getting ready for Christmas.  I have an early flight
tomorrow to fly out West to pickup Domenic for the holiday and fly back
to New York.

Please excuse me if this message is a bit of a rush, but I wanted to
share a few thoughts on what happened and also express my most sincere
thanks and deep appreciation for those who sent an email message and
expecially for those who mailed a personal note to jail.  Thank You!

Full details and history at: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr

Our web site promotes NonViolent Action and we all know that theory is
one thing and practice is another.  35 days as a prisoner reconfirmed
the importance of:


Everyone is not at a point in their lives when they can risk even a
night in jail as voluntary sacrifice - although they still support the
overall goals.  This has been true of movements in the past.

Certainly it strengthens my resolve when people take the time to write
and to share their stories.  The email messages that were sent in will
appear in a later FEEDBACK.  I'd like to mention the following people
who took the time to write.  I enjoyed reading their messages and had
the time to send everyone a person reply (and practice my hand writing!):

Carol Vargo, NJ           Chuck DeHart, VA
Jeff Shipman, NY          Barbar Lapp, NY
Greg Langstrand, NY       Mike Sandifer, CO
Ugo DedPunzio, CA         John Barton, NY
Dave Cantera, NJ          Mary Jo Marceau-Hawthorne, NY
Bill Wagener, CA          Jacob Sell, IL
Mike Anderson, PA         Joanne Scheafnocker, NJ

Many thanks to Gary Taubar, NY, who took the time to visit in person.

It made me feel my efforts mattered when people sent me copies of
letters they had faxed to Senator Clinton.


I tried reading a little Shakespeare from the jail library, but Hamlet
was still too much for me to get through in the Old English.  However,
I found three pharagraphs in a commentary on Hamlet written in 1811 by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge that should touch a nerve in all of us -- the
importance of action:

    "... we still see Hamlet indulging in reflection ... he is all
    dispatch and resolution, as far as words and present intentions 
    are concerned, but all hesitation and irresolution, when called 
    upon to carry his words and intentions into effect; so that, 
    resolving to do everything, he does nothing.  He is full of 
    purpose, but void of that quality of mind which accomplishes 
    purpose ...

    Shakespeare wished to impress upon us the truth that action is 
    the chief end of existence -- that no faculties of intellect, 
    however brilliant, can be considered valuable, or indeed 
    otherwise than as misfortunes ... and lead us to think and 
    think of doing, until the time elapsed when we can do 
    anything effectively ...

    Hamlet is a man living in meditation, called upon to act by 
    every motive human and divine, but the great object of his 
    life is defeated by continually resolving to do, yet doing 
    nothing but resolve."


So many of us love our children, but we feel so much anger towards the
system, judges, lawyers, and especially former spouses.  Those
feelings are natural (and I share many of them) -- but anger will not
sustain you in jail in voluntary sacrifice.  Many of us experience anger
by even seeing another parent happy with a child, or even a commerical
on TV!

In jail you have plenty of time for second guessing, "John, do you
really think this jail time is going to matter?  You really going to
get jailed again?  You could lose everything you have.  Are you

Faith helps us realize that we are all brothers and sisters.  The
love I have for my child motivates me through this experience.
My Faith in a loving God confirms that my sacrifice is valuable.

Also, the Faith that gives me the ability to take "action" -- helps
me overcome the anger.  You may find it quite surprising, but taking
postive action helps get rid of that "slow burn" many feel after
being mistreated by the "system."   You are not powerless, but are
doing something to make things better -- and it feels good.  It 
broadens our hearts.

Many thanks and my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a 
happy Holiday Season!

John Murtari

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