My Life Lesson Learnt in Alcatraz

While in America, I visited notorious Alcatraz - the legendary former maximum security prison, which struck fear into so many, and inspired such movies as The Rock, The Birdman of Alcatraz, and Escape from Alcatraz.

On the day I was there, a former inmate, Jim Quillen, was there promoting his book. I listened, fascinated, to the stories he told. I was most inspired by a story he told about the way he kept from going insane while spending days in the pitch darkness of solitary confinement. He would pull a button off his shirt, throw it up in the air, and listen to it fall. Then, after turning round and round until he was dizzy, he would get down on hands and knees and feel around for the button. When he found it he would start all over again.

I was stunned at this level of creativity in the very worst of conditions. At his refusal to give up hope, and by his unwavering faith in God, family and freedom. I was humbled and inspired. It was a life lesson I will never forget.