My winter semester incarcerated father classes come to an end this week. It’s always a bitter-sweet time saying goodbye to the dads. On one hand they’ve put up with me for three months, earned their certificates through hard work, deep introspection and have taken the first steps into becoming the men they and they’re families need them to be. On the other hand I won’t be able to see them as often, keep up with their lives in the same way and know there is a distinct possibility the worst of incarcerated life can get the better of them.
We spend the last session going over the most important lessons of the past 12 weeks; self-awareness, communication, responsibility, self-care and more. We also spend a few moments remembering; “Change begins with us.” “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” It’s one of the realizations that can make the difference in these men living inside or outside the walls of the jail. It’s easy to pass the buck, ignore the responsibility, place the blame at the feet of anyone or everything else. I tell them; “If a good man is made from his good choices, then no one is responsible for his destiny but him.”
A good and wise reminder for us all. We will never find peace, purpose, awareness of self outside until we’ve found it within.