Author: John K. McLaughlin
Year Published: 2023
“Nerdection Must Read”
Lifeline to a soul is a wholesome narration of the entrepreneurial life and instructional prison time of John McLaughlin who rather introduced himself to his students as Mr. Moose. The Book is based on the real life events of the author and his personal and ideological development amidst the series of experiences in his life.
Mr. Moose, a successful locker sales business owner, grows a passion for teaching and sees it as a viable side hustle along running his business which he credits huge amount of its success to the lessons he gained from working under his father’s friend and later, under his father’s company. Over time, he develops a strong inclination towards the academy and wishes to be a teacher.
Moose makes several strides including advancing his education and submitting countless applications till he eventually lands a prison instructor position, a job that becomes a learning and growing experience for him.
Mr. Moose, haven at one point in his early age worked as a middle man for a drug dealer, making sales and finding buyers, holds a philosophy that people incarcerated are those with limited choice and this makes them opt for vices. He saddles himself with the responsibility of providing as many values as he can to inmates who showed up for his class.
While Mr. moose is bent on providing enough value as possible, he meets a series of limitations that makes him rethink the amount of effort he puts into his job , whether it is even worth it. Regardless of the limitations of not having permissions to carry out his classes the way he deems fit and the issue of unmotivated students, Moose meets some committed and appreciative inmates with whom he establishes connections outside the classroom walls.
Moose is posed with a dilemma, whether to resign or complete his 10th class but the whole new prison security measures and turn-arounds have only added more reasons for his silent innermost retirement call.
Does moose strive to complete his 10th class, or does he think his days as a prison instructor is over?
My take on lifeline to a soul
The Book is simple and sweet. It uses the first person point of view, which makes the narration very relatable. The writer’s desire is for the reader to be educated on the life of the incarcerated and to make social plea for institutional upgrade of the prison environment, learning program and the entire standard of living of inmates.
the prison system can cause an inmate to lose their sense of identity. Dehumanizing them makes it much easier for the people in position of power to do their job without the temptation of showing favoritism to anyone or getting too affable to someone
I personally love the suspense the writer created by telling just part of his early life encounter with drug dealing and only completing it at the very end of the narration. It creates an earnest desire for the reader to want to know if he is going to complete that story or just neglect it.
The writer also ended the story in a very didactic tone, which almost sounded like a clarion call and social criticism.
Over all, this book was an amazing read and I highly recommend you check it out!
About the Author of Lifeline to a soul
John McLaughlin spent half his life bootstrapping his start-up business to an industry leader. His desire to teach what he spent his career learning led him on a remarkable journey through the gates of a minimum-security prison where he taught entrepreneurship for almost three years. John has an MBA, a teaching certificate, and a marketing management certificate from Harvard Extension University. John enjoys riding a tandem bicycle with his wonderful wife, Reba on the greenways of Charlotte, North Carolina where they live with two extremely spoiled cats, Moe and Joe.