My Literary Journey      by    Ruth Utnage

I began with the Bible. Helped me unbury myself, learned to live in love and freedom. Then it was The Four Agreements where I understood I had choices to make and just because your family believes something doesn’t mean I had to.

Then it was Just Mercy, where I learned perseverance and strength. Next it was Tuesdays With Morrey. So much was learned here…Coping with death, how to celebrate a life, not forgetting how vital educators are, humility. The next logical road for was A New Earth, where I learned I didn’t like all books.

Eventually I made my way to many college textbooks and learned that the best way through dense material is to scour it for errors, finding the mistakes in my environment and accepting them. Valuable, valuable lesson. I discovered Foucault’s Discipline and Punish then Citizen by Rankin and Dean Spade’s Normal. The Color Of Violence, A Dangerous Trans Girls Confabulous Memoir, Disability Incarcerated- all of which gave me the strength to live as uniquely me and to never, ever apologize for existing, being me, or fulfilling my purpose.

33 Strategies of War, by far the most influential piece of literature I have ever read. Next, naturally, was The Laws Of Human Nature- another highly influential piece of literature for me. Which led to Frames Of Mind and Multiple Intelligences by Gardner and Ecce Homo, The Prince, Plato’s The Republic and its Allegory Of The Cave.

Then, obviously, I found my way to Freire’s Pedagogy Of The Oppressed, Bauer’s American Prison. Books that make me think…how to have compassion for my those who treat others badly when nobody’s looking and what to do about it so change occurs, not revenge- a lesson that helped lead me to the doorstep of corrections for a career path, oddly enough.

The Culture Code and Powerful and Human Resources…

And I’ve only just begun…

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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To contact me you must be a humanist…

“A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, then by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” (“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire )