John Broman/ Class 8: Relationship Training

by John Broman

200. What relationship do you have to others in the world?

To some, I have an integral relationship. Teaching them and (i hope) bringing something positive into their lives. To my family and friends, I know I’m in their thoughts and hearts. To others, I’m just “hippie” with n o real influence on them.

201. To what extent do the decisions we make have an influence on the lives of others?

Coming to prisons affected my family greatly, to lose one of their kids. In here, my decisions affect really only me. I try to interact with few in here to avoid problems.

202. In what ways does a relationship with God influence the choices we make or behaviors we pursue?

Well, depending on how seriously we take it, a lot. If you believe in karma, and that whatever you do brings about an action/re action, then you’ll make positive choices.

203. In what ways does our relationship to anyone else influence the choices we make or behaviors we pursue?

WE are who we associate with. If you surround yourself with great/positive people, your choices will reflect that. If you surround yourself with negative/ bad people well, you’ve got that coming your way.

204. If everyone in society made decisions from the same code of personal values that we embrace, how would the world advance or decline for future generations, including our children?

The world would be one harmonious place if it followed the same values I embrace!

205. To what extent do your choices and behaviors match the choices and behaviors you would want your children or people you love to see and emulate?

If those I love, or children’s behaviors followed mine, I’d be proud of them (aside from the whole prison thing that is!)

206. What does it mean to you to live with integrity?

That no matter what you hold true to your morals. No matter what that brings. It’s how I’ve done my first 10 years. And how I’ll do these next 5 too.

207. What does it mean to you to serve a prison sentence or to confront adversity with dignity?

It means you live in here how you would out there. That you don’t break or crack because of what you’re facing. You live your life the way you feel it should be lived.

208. In what ways do your relationships with other prisoners influence your possibility for success upon release?

I do my best to avoid other prisoners as much as I can, so that I DO make it out of prison with a chance for success. I have met a couple really great people behind the walls that will help after release though.

209. How do your relationships with other prisoners influence the way that prison staff members assess you?

Whoever you hang out with is what your associated as. The staff know what people are into here, if you kick it with dope fiends and scumbags, that’s what you’ll be seen as.

210. In what ways will your relationships with other prisoners influence the probation officer who supervises your release?

I’m sure that my PO will get a file of write ups that I received in here. Which will be his “first impression.” of me. So, I need to stay out of trouble to make that a GOOD 1st impression.

211. What efforts are you making today to influence the relationships you will have in the months and years to come?

I’m using the email and internet system to stay in contact with those that I know. As far as building my network, I’m not doing so good.

212. In what ways can you influence relationships with people beyond prison boundaries while you’re incarcerated?

The power of the pen! (Well, email now-a-days!) That and how you act in here and staying out of trouble. How you live and act in here is how you’re going to be on the street.

213. How would maintaining relationships with people who embrace criminal values influence your potential for success upon release?

It will more than likely draw you back into your criminal life. You’ll always have that “out” if things aren’t working out for you to return to crime.

214. In what ways do grooming and personal appearance influence your relationship with others?

When you don’t take care of yourself, people just assume that your a “low-life”. The “look” that you have is the way you’re going to get treated.

215. How do writing skills influence the potential for opening new relationships that may lead to success upon release?

With good writing skills you can open a lot of doors. Convince others to give you a chance, you can try to start a career with them. With educated skills you can easily get your point across to someone. Whereas if you are uneducated your meaning will be lost in the reading.

216. In what ways are you working now to nurture relationships that may help you succeed upon release?

I’m collaborating on a book with my friend that will be published next year. I’ll also begin to write stories for his website that will advance my reputation as a writer.

217. What influence will your relationships with others have on your possibility for success upon release?

The relationships that i NEED to build could help me greatly in the field that i want to work in after this. The ones I have now can also help, like the one I have with Seth.

218. How would prospective mentors respond if they were to hear you attribute your predicament to the choices or actions of another?

I’m sure Seth would slap me upside my head! He’d also tell me whatever happens/ happened is my fault for allowing myself to be open to others.

219. In what ways does the blaming of outside forces strengthen or weaken your potential for success upon release?

It wakens it dramatically. I’ll have MANY obstacles after this, if I can’t handle things now, then I won’t be able to out there either.

220. How do your relationships with others influence the people closest to you?

They affect my life in the good and bad. With the good it creates positivity with those closest to me. With the Bad, it pushes them away and puts strain on our relationship.

221. To what extent does living with transparency, or as an open book, influence relationships?

It allows others to see and KNOW what is going on with you. Which gives them no room to rush into judgment on things.

222. How would behaving one way with one group of people and another way with others strengthen or weaken your potential for success upon release?

It would waken it. I feel and always have that you should always act with pride about who and what you are with everyone. If you have to act differently with different groups of people, then you need to raise your character level to the highest standard.

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