The Warden and the Prisoner

The sun’s rays glare through the iron bars covering my window. Judging by the position of the sun I figure it is closer to noon, though I am not really sure. Today can be a Monday or Wednesday it doesn’t really matter, as most days I do not believe I make a difference. The silhouette of a man that once was stares back at me without the aid of a mirror. My cell is one of five in a residence that seems smaller than it actually is. My cell is furnished with a plush queen bed, walk- in closet lined with identical uniforms, a spacious bathroom and air conditioning. The rest of the facility has a dining area, common room, encaged porch, fully stocked kitchen, laundry facilities, television, and a computer with internet access.

I am given a daily schedule that rarely deviates; I have to get up at a certain time, shower, drive to work, check my email, and socialize with the company. Despite all these supposed freedoms, I am not free. I can’t seem to shake the belief that all the other convicts I know are freer than me. Every night the warden reviews my performance and if I do not live up to expectations I am castigated by the guards.

The guards are permanent residents of the prison, and I have come to know them on a first-name basis; Depression, Sadness, Anxiety, Lonely, Hopeless, and Misery to name a few. One of the cells house exceptionally distinguished figures; Happiness, Peace, Self-Esteem, Hopeful, and Trust. The guards despise them and try to prevent me associating with them. This penitentiary is very distinctive from other confinements; it has a door leading outside that is never locked, anyone can walk through whenever they wish. This door symbolizes freedom, but not to me as I am escorted by my guards whenever I leave, wherever I go. I am not free; I am a prisoner.

The sun’s rays glare through the iron bars covering my office window. Judging by the position of the sun I figure it is closer to noon, though I am not really sure. Today can be a Monday or a Wednesday it doesn’t really matter as most days I do not feel in control. My office is laden with nice furnishings and adornments, but it seems smaller than it actually is. My designated role entitles me to power and I expect myself to exercise it. I control the financial operations of the institution and hold the keys to all the doors. I am in charge of the guards, the prisoners, and I set all the rules that are stipulated by a no tolerance policy.

However, all this power is undermined by my guards who are the constant cause of my misery. When I order them to punish a prisoner for failure they are more than happy to oblige, but if I ask them to stop harassing Happiness and his friends they defy me. When I try to assert my authority they scoff at me. The guards exert their power over me by accompanying me wherever I go, something I feel powerless to stop. I regret giving the order to have Happiness & Co. detained, but I feel incapable granting them asylum them for the thought terrifies me. This penitentiary is very distinctive from other confinements; it has a door leading outside that is never locked, anyone can walk through whenever they wish. This door symbolizes freedom, but not to me as I rarely feel the locus of control rests with me. I am the warden, yet some days I feel like the prisoner.

I detain myself to a prison of my own creation the moment I give the power of my life to anybody or anything other than myself. In this self-made prison, I am nothing more than a prisoner with the illusion of being a warden. Freedom is not the ability to do anything, it is the ability to change one’s perception; as perception is reality. Doing so grants me the power to control my guards, and the ability to swap them out with the illustrious inmates they so desperately want me to disassociate from. That door is never locked, being aware that I control my thoughts and actions allows me to walk out that door a free man.

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