Gene, 53
Gene, 53

Meet Gene…

“I met Steve, who had volunteered for a prison program that paired up victims and assailants as part of a rehabilitation process. Within the short three months that Steve and I conversed, he gave me a new lens to view the world with too, and I will always be grateful for his generosity in helping me understand the difference between independence and interdependent living.”

Incarcerated: 10 years

Housed: Jefferson City Correctional Center, Missouri

Bob Dylan once described the difference between independence and interdependence to his friend Hunter S. Thompson, with the aid of his guitar. He played a G note and said, “with that note, you can set a tone,” then he strummed a G chord, and said, “with those three notes played together, you create harmony.” 

When I met Steve, he had PTSD. Being the victim of a violent crime was the reason got his suffering. Steve’s front teeth were knocked out by the butt of an AK-47, a weapon being used to rob a bank. Steve and his youngest son were there to deposit money the boy had earned delivering papers into a savings account for the boy. 

“I met Steve, who had volunteered for a prison program that paired up victims and assailants as part of a rehabilitation process. Within the short three months that Steve and I conversed, he gave me a new lens to view the world with too, and I will always be grateful for his generosity in helping me understand the difference between independence and interdependent living.”

For the next six years, Steve was a man who felt as if he were standing in quicksand. His life was fueled by the need to maximize the safety net around his family and impose a discipline upon them that he did not understand or find it possible to adhere to. Every day was a struggle to breathe.

One day he came upon a book called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey that he said altered his dysfunctional life. It gave him a new lens to view the world. He said he had found a foothold that eventually freed him from the psychological trap that he so long been mired in.

That’s about the time I met Steve, who had volunteered for a prison program that paired up victims and assailants as part of a rehabilitation process. Within the short three months that Steve and I conversed, he gave me a new lens to view the world. I will always be grateful for his generosity in helping me understand the difference between independence and interdependent living. As Redd Greene used to say: “We’re all in this together, I’m rooting for ya!”

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