Week 2 October 10, 2013.
Today the class discussion was about the what it means to be truthful. This topic hit a lot of nerves. We also talked about history. Does one really know his/her history and what role did, knowing or not knowing, play in the acts that many of the guys committed.
The discussion took a turn to religion and got out of hand. I had to bring things back into perspective at that point. Unfortunately, many guys come to prison to find God and leave Him here when they leave. I knew that this could become a discussion that would get guys away from the real issue, victimhood. That is what we are here for and that needs to be the theme, not the color of Jesus skin or what climate he was born in.
I had the chance to talk today and I spoke about the realties of the system. As much as one may hate the way that the system works one cannot deny that it has served a purpose. It has done a good job in making people dependant on it. I spoke about how guys are more concerned with the new food menu than their kids. Recently, they changed the food menu and guys have been expressing their gripes or likes about the new food. These are the topics that have made guys forget why they are here. These are the topics that make guys feel comfortable in being here.
I also spoke about how the design of the system has made guys strangers to their own families. I based that off of what I see when I go on visits. I often see guys fearful of showing love and affection to their love ones. How I hear guys always talk about their “homeboys” yet their homeboys are not coming up here to visit them. That the people the people that are coming here are the ones who are the constant victims of our incarceration. They fall into the category of victims as well as those other people that were directly effected by our offenses.
Along with this topic we discussed the roles that we play in this cycle. That in order to stop the cycle you have to know where it began. For many it began with someone who looked like us, someone that was close to us. For many of us we showed someone whom we loved the “game” and how it is played. So we have to take ownership for the lives that we have exposed to this lifestyle. When one can get to the point of acknowledging this they can take the steps needed to change behavior.
Overall, we had a very productive and inter-active class. It is still early so there is more to come.
As always I invite comments and questions.