While I was young, when I burned with the love of God, I thought I would convert the whole world to God. But soon I realized that it would be more than enough to convert the people who lived in my town, and I made an effort for a long time, but was not successful. Then I realized that my agenda was still too ambitious, and I focused on the people in my household. But I could not convert them either. Finally I realized: I must work on myself, if I'm really going to have something to offer God. But I didn't even accomplish this.
For no reason I can explain, I began to discover how little it mattered where you are or what anyone does to you. I was sure that what I had done to get there [imprisoned for draft resistance] was right, and somehow the longer I was there, the better I felt. . . . I felt filled with love for everyone: everyone I knew and everyone I didn't know; for plants, fish, animals; even bankers, generals, prison guards, and lying politicians — everything and everyone. Why did I feel so good? Was it God? Or approaching death? Or just the way life is supposed to be if we weren't so busy trying to make it something else?