Wardenship of Trust
Wardenship is a word that conveys the notion of power over people. The following words are considered synonyms for wardenship: custody, care, protection, safekeeping, tutelage, tutorship, watch and trust. I wonder if you asked the average prisoner in a jail if he would use those words to describe the Warden or Prison Guards in his life. As a Mentor, you may have to visit an inmate in jail that is controlled by a Warden. As a Mentor you may have to free someone from a personal jail where you have the opportunity to become a Warden who tutors through trust.
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 35
HOW TO MENTOR AN INMATE
A Mentor is the "Hopemeister."
Upon entering a jail or prison to visit an inmate, prepare yourself. Abraham Lincoln is a good example of preparation: "“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” You need to spend some time filling yourself with hope so you can dispense hope. For a 2 hour prison visit, spend 4 hours filling up your hope tank. Read stories about hope and perseverance, soak up hope in any way you can.
Most prisoners will have a lot to say. They will lament about loneliness and spending another birthday or Christmas behind bars away from their family. They may express regret over the past. Let them talk and listen with your eyes and your heart. Let them know you are listening empathetically.
A farmer breaks the ground before he can plant a seed. He let's go of the seed. He builds a silo to hold a crop that is not yet grown. The farmer does not control the sun or rain that will help his crop grow. A prisoner needs something to believe in. Everyday is a new planting opportunity. Everyday has brokenness. Your words of hope become seeds in the broken heart of the inmate. Let them know that they are valued and loved unconditionally. Help them plan a future that contains a purpose - WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE!
AID to MENTOR NAVIGATION Part 36
Words can create generational prisons. Once upon a minute, many years ago, a father told his son he was worthless, no good, stupid and lazy. He also added that the son would never amount to anything. Those words became labels of belief in the young boys mind.
As he grew, the son became filled with resentment and wore his labels well. He used them as excuses in school for his lackluster grades. He used them at home as he defiantly disrespected his mother (the father had left home after planting his seeds of negativity.) The boy dropped out of school, joined a gang, got a girl pregnant and went to jail.
As his baby grew, the baby's mom became impregnated with resentment at having to raise the baby alone. She blamed the imprisoned baby's father for all of the pain in her life. She raised her son to disrespect his "loser father" who called his trips to jail a "vacation." The son grew older in a culture of disrespect devoid of unconditional love. He followed in his dad's footsteps. He got behind in school as his grades slipped - he blamed the Teacher. The young man eventually quit school, joined a gang, had a baby and joined his dad on vacation in jail.
As a Mentor, you need to recognize the roots of self imprisonment and disrespectful behavior. Let the following creed become a part of who you are:
"Positive words only - are spoken,
Negative words make people feel broken."
Become a warden of your words. Remove words that are devoid of hope. Speak truth and encouragement. Discernment of truth should not lead to criticism. Love is a better way. Love is a more excellent way. The person you are Mentoring may not have a clue what love is. Your words, commitment, perseverance and non-critical attitude may be the keys that unlock the doors of a personal prison.