Dave Bishop (Courtesy)

Dave Bishop (Courtesy)

Prison B.R.E.A.K. is an acronym for Building Relationships Empowerment and Knowledge.

Step 2: Teacher and Student

Prison is not easy, for anyone. The thing about prison and the entire penal system is it snatches our opportunities to control even the most basic of things. From the point of conviction, both convict and those they love, will be told what to do.

Deputies are sanctioned to maintain order. It’s their job to prevent people from moving in a certain way. There are curfews, time limits, schedules and mandates that have to be abided by. And they are the enforcers. They close the gates and lock the doors. They will have little respect for people like us, families like ours. They will speak with a deluded authoritative voice, even to those whose last names are not followed by numbers. And this will be unnerving. It will test one’s limits, incite a muted rage.

If a convict is lucky, someone will come to visit. This visitor will too, for a time, be both literally and figuratively in prison. The initial visit will be the hardest. Bars will slide and doors will lock behind them too. They will be subject to an invasive search. They will be directed to sit in chairs not of their own choosing. They will be given the rules. They will be monitored. They will not be spoken to gently. Everything, except one thing, will be in the control of lawmen.

And that one thing is the self. Not the self that people can see and touch, but the self that communes with spirit, that knows when it’s time to pray, grow and love. The self that is the author of intestinal fortitude, gumption and integrity. The thing that guarantees that it will remain beyond the control of others is mastery.

Self-mastery means being in control of the internal thought processes that guide ones emotions, habits and behaviors. Prison and any experience related to it lends the opportunity to put this notion into practice. Prison was for me the ideal place to first, discover who I am at core, and second to cultivate that in such a way that I could be free, no matter where my physical body was housed. It taught me to invoke mastery of the self.

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Convicts: Time is a gift. Prison can be physical and mental, but it doesn’t have to be. You can free yourself from all the negatives. Create space in your day to discover who you are. Learn something new about yourself, confront the things you’ve buried beneath the layers you’ve piled on over the years. Study everything, become both student and teacher. Tell yourself the truth. Speak to yourself with love. Discard thoughts and actions that no longer benefit you. Remain in the present, always.

Loved ones: There are people in our lives that deserve our attention. If there is someone like that in your life, give them yours. Every one of us has the ability to change, to be different in one moment than we were in the last. We’d all appreciate the chance to do so, to grow, to live. We all want a shot at redemption. If you are in a position to bear witness and be party to another’s transformation, please, do so with earnest. For it is only through your own self-mastery that you will even be able recognize their efforts.

Connect with Dave:
www.Savemykite.org
[email protected]
IG: Kite_Inc FB: KITEUSA IG: @davereign


Dave Bishop

Dave Bishop is the founder of the nonprofit organization, K.I.T.E. Inc., Konnecting the Incarcerated Through Excellence. The mission of the organization is to provide mentoring and support to children, younger than 18 years of age, who live in urban, under represented areas, and have at least one incarcerated parent. K.I.T.E. facilitates programs dedicated to providing financial assistance, emotional and crisis counseling, and educational and life skills training.