Manuel Chavez/ Class 8: Relationship Training

by Manuel Chavez

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

I’m a born again Christian  and I got baptized lately. I , like millions of others, believe in Jesus Christ. I also found the  Lord Jesus while in Prison. He and his blessings have seen me through many tribulations. I truly believe that he led the way and is still leading me in he right direction. I believe with my invention he gave me a way to reach out to the whole world. I can help save and improve the environment. There are oil leaks all over the world that need to be stopped. In Rio de Janero, Brazil, Chevron has a well that has beeb leaking since November 2012!!! And this” well will continue to leak until it is gone”.

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

All of our decisions have consequences on others. One decision is connected to the next. We should choose wisely on all of our decisions.

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

With a decision that is very important I pray for it. And when it gets answered they are the result of careful decisions and deliberate actions.

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

With good communication and a deliberate  personal commitment to make wise choices, we live a purposeful life. I look around me and see so many prisoners totally lost. I single out the ones who are different and offer them this program. This program will help me build my integrity and dignity by, helping me get people aware of my invention to save the environment of the world.

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?

First, I have good thoughts about people in general. We are mostly hard working, God fearing and family oriented. I believe that my invention will help future generations. This will help secure a safe way to extract oil and gas from the earth without the collateral damage that has happened thus far. Let’s end the oil and gas leaks that  are destroying the ecosystems of the oceans of the world and the lives of the oil workers. My invention inxures these values.

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?

I want the whole world to see that I overcame the “prison life” and did my invention and patent application while in   prison. And my family and peers will see this fact. And it will give them the means of thinking to do something good for EVERYONE!

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

To have strong values and a strong sense of being here on earth with a purpose. A values based life is a good life. To believe in and to love yourself is the first step to  a real life.

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

That no matter what people or the system thinks of you, you can be centered around your goals of bettering yourself and the world in which we live.

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

I’m very cautious about whom I associate with in prison.  Most of these inmates have no idea of  how to control themselves. I believe that you have to trust most people that you associate with in prison. Let’s face it. Most of these low security inmates are rats. They are not trustworthy. I got to become low security by working my way down. Most of these guys got a time reduction from a long sentence by cooperating (ratting) with the government. I’m very cautious of what I say and what I do here. This is a good lesson for me. I will just be polite and answer yes or no to them. It was very hard for me to say “no” until lately.

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

If your high-profile the staff treats you as a threat. I’ve seen it over and over again. I’m low key. I don’t drink or do drugs. I take pride in staying sober and clean.

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

I’ve made up my mind that in order to to be successful upon release, I will be on my own. I’m on my own now with just my family for support. When I’m released, I will support my family. It’s just that easy for me. He will see that I won’t have any contact with the felons that I was once locked up with.

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

I want good professional relationships with people in the free world. I am always looking for ways to contact certain people. I use the newspapers for certain individuals and send them a letter. Sadly though, most never write back once they see Federal Corrections and a prison number.

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

I guess you can advertise now days on the internet. I just found out what a “blog” means, and, I’m going to use this tool to help me gain good relationships with people.

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

I have taken this thought very seriously. I won’t maintain any relationships with anyone I’ve met in prison. This would only set me backwards to what I anticipate for my success upon release.

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

I’ve noticed that a clean and “pressed down” appearance is respected in prison just as it is on the streets. You always dress for success. You never know who you will meet. That person you may meet, may see you for the first time in prison. It could happen! If you kaka the time to keep “tight:, it will become a habit and that is only a good habit.

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

Writing is the only way for most of us prisoners to communicate and contact others. These skills are necessary either with postal mail or e-mails.

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

I’m still trying and always looking to make contact with people who are in the petroleum industry.  These people can help me with getting my invention noticed.

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

If everything goes into place and mind you, it could somehow all backfire. The contacts that I want to nurture will e able to help me get a reference with each of them. The more good references I have the better my chances of getting a good job

And with a good job, a good life. With a good quality of life, I will be able to show that prison didn’t keep me from being the good valued person that I have become.

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

Of course the old adage claims, “I’m innocent”. I believe that acceptance of responsibility is the key to completely leaving the past behind you. I have to look forward not backwards at he time everything went so wrong so fast. I believe that I will overcome the prison time I’ve done and land right back on my feet. It will be hard but, it is a personal goal of mine.

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

Whenever you blame others or other predicaments you are not looking at the real reason of why you are here in prison. You, are why you are here. Remove the plank from your eye before you can remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. You don’t or won’t grow past the events that got you in prison if you dwell on them. Make yourself better. Get education, with education comes freedom. You can be “free” in prison if you put your mind and actions to do it.

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

I’ve made a conscious effort to not have others except my family close to me. Now that I’m ready to let people into my life, I’m choosing wisely. The people that I choose to be close to me are people that can help me in the challenges I face. I will always look t build relationships that will help me, my family, an the many friends that I’m sure to acquire.

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

Living a transparent life is the gateway to trusting people. People who see you as transparent will be able to trust you in return. Trust in a relationship is the key element. Be it personal, business or professional.

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?

I have always believed that strong personal values are the only way to live. I treat everyone that I meet with respect. I don’t cheat or steal or disrespect others. I have always had these values, they, and the presence of God in my life have helped me through many tribulations that 20 years behind bars have brought me.

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