It is not everyday that one meets a real gangster. But for me it is almost a daily fare. They live and die in front of me. They are there seeking audience, asking for a few moments to express their joys and fears, beliefs and disbeliefs, concerns and wishes. In front of them, I feel like Marlon Brando on one hand, and Tia Dely (or Oprah Winfrey, if you may) on the other hand.
Listening to them is surreal. Like watching a fiction film or reading a Tom Clancy novel. And one cannot even discount their characterization of events because the courts used those incidents in promulgating conviction. That is right, the gangster I am always confronted with as certain as day break are the prisoners at the top of the totem pole of gangs in the prison community. And they are not the common felon one ordinarily would navigate the prison camp.
Ordinary inmates are quick to deny and express lamentation on the offense imputed to them. They still subscribe to their plea of not guilty. Even in prison, they still believe on their innocence and would insist on the world on such stand notwithstanding evidences, testimonies and facts. They believe their lawyers even if they failed them.
Gangsters are a class of its own. They never lament on anything even on the fate that befell them. While they never rejoiced the state on which they find themselves, it is for them not an occasion for brooding. As a matter of fact, they never even are ashamed of their cases. Their confidence level is so high that one can only appreciate raw intelligence these beings must have been gifted.
The more respected a gangster in prison is, the more mysterious one finds his background. One wonders where he gets the advantage. He is never even educated at all! The height of his position in the gang hierarchy could not even be attributed to his credentials. The higher his post, the lower his educational attainment. Those at the top do not even know how to read! Education is never a factor if one intends to be a Godfather.
Robert Kiyosaki author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad was correct all along. It is not education that makes a man rich or successful. It is attitude that makes him so. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares even expressed sadness when she declared that 90% of professionals, the educated class, have cheated in the payment of their taxes. Education for some is even a barnacle for creativity and in the attainment of success, although generally speaking education as a whole makes a nation matured and stable.
Education however is never a requirement for genius. But for the rest of us ordinary mortals it is a must.
The gangster is a complete person. Hardships and difficulties are never a part of his armaments. He can start at the bottom, feel at home in hell even and could easily blend with those at the top and can even rule easily from there. They are persuasive not in the pastoral sense. Although he can convince those around him without difficulty, he would never insist, would never even force his thoughts, but would find his environment turning green in his favor. Ordinary wise guys gravitate to him like black sand to a magnet, like flies to a shit.
My day is complete warming up on stories made up by gangsters. And this experience is a daily fare for me.