"If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is Martin Luther King as coach and encourager, giving a Vince Lombardi-esk kick-in-the-pants for anyone who is plagued with doubt, worry, or low self esteem. With fervor he tells us all to raise up! To make a move and keep on moving toward a better life. (In our heads, most of us can hear King speaking now, increasing in volume with righteous passion.)
From time to time, we can all use this advice, but many men and women coming out of incarceration are downcast, confused, and feel shame. They are not ready to walk, much less fly, and they lack trust in even those with an outstretched hand.
Psychiatrists say people who have negative ideas about themselves tend to perform negatively. Our thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies: If you believe you’re a loser, you’ll perform like a loser and you’ll inevitably lose. As it says in Proverbs 23:7 “As ye think, so shall ye be.” Nothing has changed since that was written.
Many reentrants have faith in God, but virtually no faith in themselves. So, our mentor partners and training in Jobs for Life classes literally pour encouragement into them. They are taught and told that they have value, are loved by God and that He has a good plan for their lives. Words like that are regenerative. Like plugging your phone in after it dies...it comes to life again.
Plugged into a job through 2nd Chance Indiana, a positive attitude, an income, and the structure of work, Hoosier reentrants can and do make highly successful comebacks. Then, as they begin to build a solid foundation of normalcy in their lives, they too can begin to fly.