Ironically for someone who had so long asserted his own individuality as his first and best defense against insults of any kind, I discovered that faith in myself proved to be the least formidable strength I possessed when confronting alone organized inhumanity on a greater scale than I had conceived possible. Faith in myself was important, and remains important to my self esteem. But I discovered in prison that faith in myself alone, sep0arate from other, more important allegiances , was ultimately no match for the cruelty that human beings could devise when they were entirely unencumbered by respect for the God given dignity of man. This is the lesson I learned in prison. It is, perhaps, the most important lesson I have ever learned.
In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn't until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.