We Have Our Failures

When we succeed, it is a success for which you and I can praise God loud and long. When we have a failure, it is a failure that lands with a thud.

What constitutes a failure for us?

I think it is when a resident proves to us that his/her recovery means more to us than it means to him/her. This is usually accompanied by a plaintive wail during which a resident minimizes his/her faltering. The resident may act like his/her foible is not his/her fault, or it is not such a bad thing, or it is not as bad as what others do.

I could give you a dozen illustrations, any of which would make your head spin. We require all our residents to own their crime before they get a bed with us. After we receive them, they must own up, live up, as if they accept responsibility for their failure.

Please note, there are some people we who cannot be helped by helping them. When a person from the outside world asks me what we do to raise the self-image of our parolees, I often tell them this is that last thing we would want to do. A criminal is not a person with a bad self-image. A real criminal is a man or woman who thinks the rules do not apply to him/her, or a person who believes the world is in his/her debt, or who thinks you are a simpleton because you obey the rules (at least enough to stay out of prison). Does this sound like a person who needs a surge in self image?

So, we have our successes. Success usually comes when a person deals with their recovery in reality, such that they admit their failing and claim their need of recovery. A failure usually occurs when someone lapses into that place where they whole world owes them. We have those failures too.

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