Thursday, October 20, 2016

Its Good For The Skin...

Every Tuesday I facilitate a workshop. The principle is good, everything else is hard on the psyche. The attendees don't want to be there, the other facilitators are great people but a few are terrible publc speakers, which makes the attendees even more uninterested. It can be a miserable two hours.

So why do I go? While about 25% of the attendees are forced to be there and make attempt to make my life miserable, 75% are interested in what I'm saying so long as I am interested in what I'm saying. What a concept huh?

There is a moment where I have to overcome the obstacle of human resistance in every class. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can't. Its a crap shoot. This is what I like about it though. Every Tuesday I get to face a new challenge that puts me outside of my comfort zone. In my mind, what's better training for advocacy and public speaking then that? 

At the very least I need to be cognitive of how I come across because effective communication is the key to stating what you want. You need to know how to articulate it, right? Easy to read about, hard to practice. 

So why the title? Because people tell us all the time to do things for this reason or that. In this case, I am doing this workshop every Tuesday because someone else (our facilities Superintendent) said its good for us to teach new guys. 

Our only arguement was that it was being required of the attendees, or forced. On us, none of us never felt like we had a choice. So the title comes into play here, "its good for your skin..." It just so happens that I caught on quickly that I can use this particular, ahem, comparison to highlight that sometimes we do things that we don't agree with or even like. But, it gives someone else great pleasure. 

In this case, however, it actually was "good". I wanted to highlight how we sometimes look at a situation and catastrophize the outcome. Sure I'm teaching guys that don't want to be there, sure its hard because I'm still learning to be a public speaker or teacher at all. But that's the beauty of it all, I wanted to do these things long before prison but I was to fearful of failure. Now look at me, I'm confidently teaching guys Coping With Incarceration techniques as an openly gay man in prison as a prisoner. I'm making a difference in my community. I'm glad I let things happen I wouldn't normally, maybe it will lead to other things I didn't know I liked??? LOL!

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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