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Grapevine : May 2011
program, a pen and a piece of paper, which has proven adequate during emergencies. To practice these principles in all my affairs is a tall order in here. As a recovering alcoholic and addict in prison, some situations present moral dilemmas. i treat people the way i want to be treated and don’ t report evil deeds, because, if i had done something wrong, i would not want someone telling on me. For the same reason, i do not repeat things said to me in confidence. if some- one did wrong, i know from experi- ence that he will eventually pay the price for his wrongdoings. nobody escapes karma. one time, while being ques- tioned, i refused to cooperate. The interviewer, who knew me as a mem- ber of AA, said, “i am going to write down that you know something, but won’t say anything.” “Write what you want to write,” i said, offended. “ You have to answer to the Bureau of Prisons. i only have to answer to god. Trust is vital in me helping others and i will not breach it, no matter what.” He let me go and i never heard anything else about it. Many times, i can only do what my conscience tells me. Maybe telling a lie or withholding information is not the right thing to do, according to the standard of others. But, to me, maintaining the trust of the man in the mirror is more important than anything else. god will forgive me if i lie. if i betray someone who trusted me i may not forgive myself. Another principle i must ap- ply to deal with the insane world of incarceration is the principle of service. When someone requests a document or task from me, within or outside my job description, es- pecially in a demanding manner, i often have to step away from my ego and apply humility, acknowledging the request as coming from some- one who may be having a bad day and needs to be treated with kind- ness and compassion. if possible, i do what is requested of me. it makes life better for everybody. The pro- gram works. All i have to do is work it, wherever i am. Wayne D. Edgefield, S.C. In here, verbal com- bat is often a pre- cursor to violence. Only by the grace of God has my mouth not led me to the graveyard or left me with more time to serve, and that ap- plies especially to my relationships at work. 14 May 2011 GRAPE_12-14.indd 14 4/4/11 1:09 PM