Tuesday, August 16, 2016

All Life is Sacred

‘John Malloy’s father was in Army Intelligence and assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Shanghai when Malloy was an infant. When Chiang Kai-shek fled China three years later, in 1949, Malloy’s family was the last one out of Shanghai on a plane. From there they went to the Philippines during the Huk rebellion. And then there was Java and Borneo and jungle living. By the time Malloy was seventeen, he had moved forty-four times. In his young life as a rolling stone, Malloy learned to rely on himself. Whatever allies and friends he might have begun to cultivate in one place were always torn away by his constant displacement. In schools in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Oakland, as the new kid, he learned to fight. Every day was a trial. While living in San Francisco he ended up in juvenile hall. Later, he did time for assaulting the perpetrators of a rape. Being unprotected from bullies in school wasn’t so different from how it was in jail. The big eat the little. But Malloy was a warrior. It was during his time in jail that something crystallized for him. “I knew that I was going to clean up my mess and spend the rest of my life working in institutions to help take care of the people who no one else was taking care of.”
His resolve led to the creation of a school for young people who had been incarcerated, the Foundry School. Intuitively at first, and later in a more conscious way, he arrived at highly effective ways of helping young people whose lives had spiraled down into violence and crime. Word of Malloy’s integrity, courage, and effectiveness spread. It’s how he began to meet Native Americans who entrusted their at-risk children into his care. For Malloy, it was a pivotal event. In Native American spirituality he found a way of looking at the world that resonated most deeply with his own experience.’