Severin Stone/ Class 8: Relationship Training

by Severin Stone

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

The relationship that I have to others in the world is different depending on each person. To my family, I am called to lead and love them. To those with in the body of Christ, I am to edify, encourage and love. To those of the world, I am to shine with a light that makes them want to ask “why are you the way you are?”

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

To the highest degree, I feel the extent that every decision influences not only on the lives of others but, also on society as a whole. We must all be 100% accountable for all that we do in our lives and live responsible. Only we we are conscious of how we effect those around us with every decision we make can we begin to grow as a society and all be edified.

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

This I believe is the highest level of consciousness, when we not only think about ourselves but begin seeing that every thought, idea, and action be held accountable to God. This changes one’s perspective about everything in life because now all is for a higher purpose, pleasing God. If you take this attitude into every activity that you do in your life you now even cleaning a toilet becomes an act for God. God comes first.

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

Your relationships can and will dictate many of the decisions that you make based on your feelings about that those relationships. I believe that you have to learn to control those feelings and relationships. If every girlfriend you have dictates your decisions you will be trying to do everything to please them and will be out of wack. This is important to see the relationship with God dictates all other relationships.

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?

Society would be an amazing place if everyone made decisions from the same code of personal values that we embrace. I can only imagine a society that embraces unity and community, building up instead of tearing down those around us. A society where common goals were held by all and disciplined enough to reach them. A society that embraced God above all is where I want to live.

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 live and make decisions always with my family and children in mind. I strive hard to show them that through hard work and dedication to your values that all things are possible. I lead by example and not only for a job when I get out, though that is great, to give my family and children inspiration.

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

In a way our integrity has been compromised by our case and therefore, we must work twice as hard to reestablish this. I live every day with integrity in mind and choose not to compromise my honor and integrity. I hold myself to the Biblical standard and preach the Word here, thus every move I make is being watched and must be held at high integrity.

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

To face a prison sentence or to confront adversity with dignity to me is the only way to live. Our dignity is all we have in this environment and prison is based on respect, both given and received. The fact that you can face any situation with your head up speaks volumes about ones character.

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

I feel that the way that we deal with anyone in prison or outside will influence your possibility for success upon release. I value every relationship in life because you never know who you’ll need or when.

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

I think that staff assess me by the way I deal with other inmates and that can be good or bad depending on your relationships. I facilitate orientation (A & O) here at this facility and therefore the staff trusts me enough to give the new inmates a perspective on what it means to be incarcerated and share with them ideas of how to make the best out of this time. Though many build negative associations with other inmates and that creates a negative view from the staff.

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

With the probation officer I imagine it’s a much different story from what I hear, though I can only go off hear say, we are not supposed to have communications with other ex-felons. If this is true them relationships you build in prison have to be left in prison.

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

I treat every relationship the same and try never to show partiality to anyone no matter how big or small they are. I cultivate relationships based on the individual and let the Holy Spirit lead me to the individuals that I need to know.

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

By reaching out and sharing my testimony with as many as I come into contact with. By participating in programs like the out-crew, the Biblical plays, and Straight-A Guide I have been able to share my testimony with others and encourage all that I come into contact with.

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

Not very well at all. Those that remain criminal minded can be guided to the light but, often it takes one falling hard to look at things differently. I know that this was true with me and luckily this was all I needed some takes a second or third time incarcerated to get it.

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

Grooming and personal appearance is always important because people will always judge you visually before they get to know you. Knowing that it’s always important to keep up your grooming and appearance to open those doors before they close.

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

Writing skills due help you to be able to communicate your ideas and values clearly with others and therefore can attribute to reaching out toward sucess upon release from prison.

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

I put myself into every relationship and nurture all relationships equally because you never know who you’ll need in life. God has a funny way of bringing things back around on us and if we build up every relationship that we are lead to we are always ahead.

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

The influence that my relationships with others can direct my opportunities because someone might remember me and the skills I possess and see a position I would be great for.

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

Accepting responsibility for your actions is the first step necessary for change. Therefore I do not think perspective mentor’s would respond well to not accepting responsibility for your actions.

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

Blaming others definitely weakens our potential not only for success upon release but, also for ones growth in life. We must see it was our choice or choices that got us into this situation and only our choices will help us emerge from this successfully.

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

My relationship with God influences every relationship that I have in my life. This relationship with God helps me to love more people in and out of my immediate circle of family and friends. It is easy to love family and friends but much more difficult to love your enemies.

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

I feel that living transparent is the only way to live. Having secret agendas or motives will only discourage people from trusting you or building an actual relationship with you. This a very necessary step to growing as a person and embracing that you have gone through this trial and emerged.

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?

Again this falls into partiality in which I am against. I feel the only way to be with all those around you is real and treating every relationship in your life with the same result, love. You must be able to love all people and see past their flaws to develop them all.

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