“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” W. Clement Stone.
I have said for as long as I can remember, or at least from when I first had the thought, that in relation to our criminal justice system rehabilitation is an attitude. I’ve not changed, not really. I may have reformed my character and adapted my behaviour but scratch beneath the surface and I’m still a criminal, I just choose not to be these days because of my attitude. Nothing more, nothing less.
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz.
I decided I did not want to be in prison, so I made that choice. I decided I no longer wanted to commit a crime, so I made that choice. I decided my past will no longer dictate my future, but my past will create one, so I made that choice. However, before I could embark on a new path and make the changes, the first change I needed to make was my attitude.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill.
Although it didn’t happen overnight, once I decided I wanted to change my attitude and I made that choice, my perspective changed and I saw the way out. I knew what I needed to do for me and for my future. My change in attitude which influenced the change in my perspective and outlook coincidentally provided more opportunities than I could shake a truncheon at. The more positive my attitude, the more that opportunities seem to appear. I have to be honest and also add I didn’t get it right at first. As I mentioned in my first paragraph, “scratch beneath the surface and I’m still a criminal”, well, scratch beneath the surface and I was still a prisoner. An obvious statement to make considering I was in prison, but by that I mean the survival side of prison, the dodgy deals, illegal trades and so on. I had only half changed my attitude. One ready for life on the out whilst forgetting to readjust my attitude for one final stint in prison.
“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” Albert Einstein.
After eating humble pie for five weeks on basic, and back in B cat conditions, they gave me another opportunity to prove myself and this time I readjusted all of my attitude, I still had enough time to turn it around. It was April 2016 when I began tucking into my slice of humble pie. In January 2017, they awarded me with a Prisoner Excellence Award for excellent contribution and excellent team performance. I was released in June 2017. My rehabilitating attitude keeps me free. Excellent.