Dhri Crusade – Day 7- Your Story

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 22, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Throat VISUDDHA

Colour Blue, 16 Lotus Petals, Element Ether, Sense of Hearing

Expression: voice, communication, permission, empowerment, expansion, development

Mantra HAM/HUM

Affirmation I SPEAK

Day 7 theme: Your Story 

  • Purity of my speech, perfection of my words and message
  • Where am I on my hero’s journey? 
  • What have I experienced that has put me in the place that I am? 
  • What do I want for the future? 
  • What am I doing to get there?
  • Find my voice, empower others to find theirs
  • Don’t seek to impress, seek to bless others with my grace
  • Satnam – I am truth

Today the Dhri Crusade took the team to Rishikesh. We had to part ways from our local navigator, Rakesh, who was like a guardian watching over us. His hospitality and guidance in the past 3 cities has been a blessing and we are eternally grateful! 

Rishikesh, however, is a bit cooler and a bit less humid today than the previous cities. Upon arrival, the team traversed a narrow winding road from the Dehradun Airport to Rishikesh – a combination of hair-raising adventure and beautiful sights. The adventure continues tomorrow!


Dhri Crusade – Day 6 – Harmony and Vulnerability

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 21, 2019

The Heart  ANAHATA 

Colour Green, 12 Lotus Petals, Element Air, Sense of Touch

Love: kindness, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, harmony, self-care, peace

Mantra YAM

Affirmation I LOVE

Day 6 theme: Harmony and Vulnerability 

  • With myself, with those around me, with my environment
  • In my vulnerability rests my strength
  • The 4 A’s: attention, affection, appreciation, acceptance
  • Meta – unconditional loving kindness

Today after morning meditation and yoga, the Dhri Crusade went to visit the grounds where Buddha gave his first sermon in Sarnath, as well as the bridge over the Ganges river. The lesson taught below is one of life and easing suffering. The river is at a very high level currently, flooding part of Varanasi.

The First Sermon of Buddha (2600 years ago)

4 Noble Truths
  1. Life contains suffering
  2. The cause of suffering is grasping/clinging
  3. There’s a way to create a cessation of dukkah (suffering)
  4. How to stop suffering: The 8 fold noble path. 
The 8-fold Noble Path
  1. Right view – the lens, perspective, trajectory. Understanding the world around you, you are not above or below anyone. Suffering starts with you. 
  2. Right intention – Are you living the right intention in life. Live life with observations not interpretations. 
  3. Right speech – can I pass my words through the 3 gates (see previous post). Does it improve upon the silence? Does it add value to this moment? Is my word a promise. 
  4. Right action – you are the inheritance of your actions. 
  5. Right livelihood. Doing good work. Are you in service? Is it adding value to this moment in time?
  6. Right effort – we must bring it on. Wake up every day focused and bring it on. Don’t blame anyone else. Nourish your body and mind. 
  7. Right mindfulness (meditation) – make it a cornerstone of the day. Don’t squeeze meditation in. Dedicate ourselves for it. 
  8. Right concentration (awareness) – being fully present in all moments. Samati. 

Dhri Crusade – Day 5 – Laser Focus/Surrender to the Fire of Transformation

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 20, 2019

It’s 7 am. The team of the Dhri Crusade began to gather for their morning meditation and yoga at the temple of prayer within the hotel grounds. The leeches clung to the sides of the walls as friendly dragonflies fluttered around. The temperature and humidity was still bearable as a gentle breeze occasionally rustled through the air.

The meditation teachings, as depicted below, offered a lesson on filtering our spoken words. Yoga worked our core. It was a great way to start the day.

The Dhri Crusade took us into the city of Varanasi today, the oldest city in India. The streets were loud and extremely crowded. The small alleyways that took us to the destination of the day were tight and like a maze. It was extremely humid and hot. The experience was an assault on all of your senses at once. There were cows and street dogs moseying about. There were animal defecation everywhere. The smell of food was mixed with a thousand other smells. The destruction of old buildings was hard to miss. And your heart hurt as you were forced to ignore beggars and panhandlers for safety.

We visited an old crematorium where we saw a few bodies wrapped gently in beautiful cloth preparing to be cremated. Through the sweat, long walk, and trying experience, we were able to pay a short visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi’s most sacred Hindu temple. For the first time, they are allowing foreigners to enter the temple, but nothing is allowed on your person except your passport.

While each city offers a different adventure, breathtaking beauty and humbling experiences, Varanasi has been the most humbling so far.

We invite you to learn about the three filters or gates for the spoken word below.

The 3 gates/filters before you speak

1. Is it true – if not, it doesn’t need to be spoken. Verify facts before spreading it.

2. Is it necessary – just because you have information or because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it needs to be spoken. Socrates: “does it improve upon the silence?”

3. Is it kind – chose to speak kindly. Just because it appears unkind doesn’t mean that it is…it’s your interpretation. And if you must say something that appears to be unkind, at least do it kindly. Have compassion. For example, if you are no longer in love with a spouse and know it is the truth and is necessary to say, it’s unkind to continue lying to them. 

Allowing our words to pass through these filters allows us to flow more purely and communicate more consciously. Also keep in mind that when speaking, it needs to be the right moment. 

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

Today’s Theme:

The Solar Plexus MANIPURA  

Colour Yellow, 10 Lotus Petal, Element Fire, Sense of Sight 

Transformation: intentions, desires, following through, focus, power

Mantra RAM

Affirmation I DO

Day 5 theme: Laser Focus — to surrender to the fire of transformation

  • Where must I be doing better?
  • Am I intentionally cultivating the tools of transformation? Transformation is evolution — It is not change. There’s no going back. “Burn the boats!”
  • Transformation is: 1) moving from want to desire 2) taking action — what are you willing to blow up? What are you willing to engage in battle with yourself about?
  • Where do I see myself in the future? How do I get there? 
  • Who do I want to be? 
  • What new and better behaviors must I learn? 
  • What new heartset, mindset, skillset, toolset do I need? 
  • What distractions must I say no to?

Dhri Crusade – Day 4 – Experience

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 19, 2019

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

Today’s Theme:

The Sacral  SVADHISTANA

Colour Yellow, 6 Lotus Petal, Element Water, Sense of Taste

Creativity: new directions, new ideas, new paths, rebirth

Mantra VAM

Affirmation I FEEL

Day 4 theme: Experience 

  • See, hear, feel, taste, visualize, apply to the future me.
  • Be willing to witness and accept — cultivate patience
  • PMA (Present moment awareness) — are you here as a tourist or a pilgrim?

Today on our Dhri Crusade, the team started the day with meditation and yoga in nature under the open sky before catching out flight from Jaipur to Varanasi. We sealed in our intentions of the day and learned about the 4 brahma-vihara, as stated below. Each of us chose one of the four and committed to practicing it throughout the day, just for today.

Peacock curiously exploring the Dhri Crusade team during morning meditation.

During meditation, we were visited by a few curious peacocks, which is the bird of India. As we lay on our yoga mats, strengthening our core, encouraging our flexibility, and amplifying our balance, a flock of birds circled above. The stunning visual of birds flying in unison, elegantly and cooperatively, and their beautiful song that was sung in choir added to the moving ambiance of the moment. In the moment…present moment awareness.

We invite you to learn about the brahma-vihara and commit to one for today. 

Brahma-vihara – 4 Buddhist virtues/states of minds. They are interrelated and support each other. They are fundamental truths that are taught in any religion, any philosophy, anywhere.

  • Metta (unconditional loving kindness)
  • Kaduna (Compassion)
  • Mudita (Empathetic joy)
  • Upekkha (Equanimity – helps us get centered and steady)

You have to have a conscious approach and effort. People can change and shift their way of being, but they must first want to and then must act – do something about it. If you want to stop smoking, then first you must actually want to stop. But beyond that, to reach your dream, goal, or desire, it’s not enough to want – you must then take action.

What Brahma-vihara are you committing to focus on today, and what actions will you take to honor this commitment?

More to come on our Dhri Crusade!


Dhri Crusade – Day 2 – Building Stronger Relationships

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

September 16, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Root MANIPURA 

Colour Red, 4 Lotus Petals, Element Earth, Sense of Smell

Connection: community, family, relationships, roundedness, stability, centering

Mantra LAM

Affirmation I AM

Day 2 theme: Building Stronger Relationships 

  • With those in my various circles of influence: family, friends, community, colleagues. 
  • Who is in the “front row” of my life? 
  • What am I doing to nurture those relationships, and to be nurtured by them?
Taj Mahal at dawn

Today the team visited the Taj Mahal at dawn. We began our adventure at 4:15 am before the sun was up! But the cows and monkeys were already out and about. Later in the day, we visited the Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted medieval city.

The ancient teachings of Hinduism isn’t about fighting people. It’s about fighting violence, intolerance, hatred and demons. Every one of us has to battle and get rid of something inside ourselves to step into what we envision or dream of. Something has to end for something new to begin. If you just destruct everything then ask why? What has to change?

Dhri is not just purpose but it’s energy. If your hitting pause and thinking it’s over — whether “it” be your current job, project, relationship, etc — you are putting your energy elsewhere. Find where you are putting your energy. We never question our focus and success when we are in thrive mode. Einstein: energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be changed.

Hitting pause doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. It means the way things are currently is the end but something may be expanding or growing. Your project may be taking on a new direction. Your relationship may be hitting a new level. You need to discover where the new energy lies and begin to excellerate in that new direction.

Visiting the Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted medieval city

Crusade is a quest to what you want, where you want to be. It may be to find your “Dhri arc” — your current great purpose and direction. Sometimes it’s not about surrender. Learn to accept. We want to get to a place of acceptance not surrender. 

Acceptance has 3 areas : 1) accept that every moment is perfect and so is every moment leading up to this moment. Every moment has lead me to this place at this moment. There may have been good times along with negative experiences…but that all led me to where I am now, where I was meant to be. 2) We have to accept that I am perfect in this place. In order for me to make any change I have to take full responsibility. If I don’t own it I can’t change it. 3) Accepting others for who they are. Accept others for all that they are without trying to fix them or mold them into who I think they should be. 

More adventures to come tomorrow!


Dhri Crusade – Day 1 – Your Way of Being

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras here.

September 16, 2019

Today’s Theme:

The Root MANIPURA 

Colour Red, 4 Lotus Petals, Element Earth, Sense of Smell

Connection: community, family, relationships, roundedness, stability, centering

Mantra LAM

Affirmation I AM

Day 1 theme: Your Way of Being (the “why” and “how” of our life) 

  • Who I am, where I come from, my values, passion, commitments. 
  • What is right and wrong with the world? I am!

Love. Legacy. Purpose. The Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort. This was our learning today. As our team visited the Agra Fort, we learned about the history behind the Taj Mahal and how love, purpose and the legacy we leave behind comes from the center of our being.

In the 1600’s, the Emperor Shah Jahan wanted the throne, killing his own brothers to get it. Once Emperor, he saw Mumtaz Mahal at the market and immediately fell in love. She was the only one of his wives that wasn’t an arranged marriage. She bore him 14 children, dying from child birth with their 14th child. Before she died, she made him promise 3 things: 1) build something to prove his love for her, 2) not to marry again, 3) to care for their 14 children.

To honor his love, Shah Jahal built the Taj Mahal, which took 22 years. After it’s completion, he was imprisoned to a room at the Agra Fort by his son who wanted the throne, where he could stare at the Taj Mahal from afar. He died while imprisonment.

The Blue Courage team at the Agra Fort.

Shah Jahal erected this structure for the love of his life, building something completely beautiful, symmetrical, and unlike any other structure in the world – something that far outlasted himself. He honored his promise to his love and despite what happened, he built something that still stands today.

The Taj Mahal

All that was right and wrong with the world, he represented. Just as all that is right and wrong with the world is in each of us. It is our choice on what we put out into the world, into our circles of those we know and love.

And just as Shah Jahal honored what he was passionate about, placing his attention on completing one thing, regardless of how long it might take, so should we all place our attention on one thing at a time. We must take the time to focus on what we believe our purpose is, and be mindful of placing our attention toward accomplishing this purpose with accuracy and greatness.

More to come as we continue to explore, experience and learn on our Dhri Crusade!

On our Dhri Crusade at the garden behind the Taj Mahal.

Dhri Crusade – The Daily Chakras

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 13, 2019

Throughout our journey through India, our Dhri Crusade, have assigned a daily theme that our attention will be focused on enhancing, which are centered around the 7 chakras as described below.

What are Chakras? 

By davidji

The 5,000-year-old Indian healing system known as Ayurveda teaches that these seven, core energy centers are gateways connecting us to the physical world we live in and to the unknown world beyond us—powerful focal points for the reception and transmission of Shakti (creative) energy.

These seven junction points also house our relationships, our creativity, our dreams and desires, our ability to receive and give love, our voice, our choices, our purpose, our connection to self, and our connection to source. Starting at the base of the spine in the root chakra rising up to the crown of the head.

It can be said that chakras are junction points between physiology and consciousness.

Within our physical body, these seven sacred spaces are also the largest concentration of our blood vessels, nerve endings, hormonal surges, electrical wiring, immune functions, digestion of food, experiences, and emotions, and the vital energy that fuels our breathing, tickles our brain and beats our heart.

The divine convergence that occurs in each of these seven access points has the power to effortlessly balance, heal, and transform you in every aspect of your life—manifesting your simple desires and fulfilling your most ambitious dreams. The capacity of these personal vortexes is limited only by your own beliefs.

When our chakras are open and vibrant we are abundantly rich in the vital life force, known in Sanskrit as “prana.” We feel grounded, inspired, energized, loving, kind, grateful, intuitive, and connected to source. When energy becomes stagnant in one or more of these vortex wheels, we are prone to experience emotional congestion fueled by fear, limiting beliefs, and lack of self-love – thus opening ourselves to emotional, physical, and spiritual pain.

Opening our chakras make us energized, and awakened chakras promote emotional and spiritual growth. We experience “free flowing” energy and information that moves in alignment within the natural rhythms of our bodies and the universal rhythms of nature.

When we are making healthier, more conscious choices, we exist in a state of grounded energetic alignment with the universe. Awakening our chakra energies is a powerful wisdom tool for us to move closer to our most divine self – our best version.

Since our chakras are expressions of the various levels of our consciousness – from groundedness to creativity to following through to loving more to speaking our voice to making more conscious choices to connecting with source – we can open them and flow through the world with greater grace, greater ease & deeper fulfillment. We can connect more powerfully to our most genuine self – awaken more nourishing relationships, shift out of constrictions, and move beyond blockages as we truly manifest our dream life.


Dhri Crusade – The Journey is About to Begin!

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Dhri = that which upholds
Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

September 11, 2019

I surrender to the fire of transformation.

davidji

“All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we create our world.”

Buddha

Michael Nila, founder of Blue Courage, learned: “You can’t intellectualize yourself into patience, into kindness, into compassion, into passion, into listening – these are born, nurtured, cultivated in your heart! We are the inheritor of our actions; our actions are the ground on which we stand.” This was on his last trip to India in 2018.

As we near the beginning of our journey, and as our team makes last minute preparations, we need to surrender to the experiences that lay ahead. We need to open our minds and our hearts to absorb all the learning, energy, adventure, and sentiment that await us.

Blue Courage is about cultivating the tools that will help us with transformation. We venture on this journey — this pilgrimage — to amplify our awareness, our learning, our transformation. While each of us have hopes for what this adventure will bring, we must let go of expectations and preconceived notions to consume all that we can from this experience. We must let go of our need for control, our fears, our judgements. We must be willing to be vulnerable to the opportunities ahead and have the humility to reflect and grow. In our vulnerability lies our strength. And only with the utmost humility and acceptance can we add significantly to our story, our hero’s journey, that will lead to the amplification of our best selves, towards enlightenment and awareness.


Join Us on the Dhri Crusade!

Dhri = that which upholds

Crusade = a determined attempt to achieve a strong belief in a noble cause

The Origin

It was September of 2018 — Michael Nila, founder and managing partner of Blue Courage, set out on a journey to amplify his state of being. He took part on a pilgrimage in India to peak his curiosity, flame his intellect, and enhance his mindfulness.

He didn’t know what to expect, but he knew it would push him out of his comfort zone and challenge his senses and his spirit. He prepared by meditating the word “surrender” every day for a month prior to his trip. He knew that in order to gain the most out of his experience in India, he had to surrender to the unknown — to the endless possibilities of what might be.

As he ventured on his pilgrimage, a light filled his entire being and he knew that he wanted to share it with his Blue Courage team — and with everyone!

Our Journey — the Dhri Crusade!

Here we are, nearly a year later, and most of our Blue Courage core team will begin a similar journey of enlightenment and amplification. We are excited for the unknown — the experience, the learning, the sentiment that goes along with such an epic journey — and we invite you to come along with us from the comfort of your own home!

How can you join in the journey?

We will post all of our experiences, learning, emotions, and thoughts right here for all to experience, learn and feel with us. You can receive notifications of our posts through various ways:

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We look forward to sharing this journey with you!


Reminder!

On another note, if you or your organization needs anything from us, please contact us as soon as you can before September 14th! We may not be able to respond or accommodate any requests after September 14th. Tammy Kesick will be available for a limited assistance in our absence. She can be reached at tammy@bluecourage.com. Thank you for your diligence and understanding as we strive to amplify our capacity to serve others with more focus, mindfulness, and energy!


The Nobility of Corrections

THE NOBILITY OF CORRECTIONS

By Brandon Anderson

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THE ROLE OF A CORRECTIONS OFFICER – A GUARDIAN AND A WARRIOR

 As a Corrections Officers, we take pride in the profession we work in and the cause in which we serve. Corrections plays a vital role in the realm of law enforcement as the final step of the criminal justice process. We have been entrusted by the law, to uphold the law behind the walls. This runs deeper than being a “guard” or “jailer”, which is often what we are referred to as. Also, we are not JUST Corrections Officers, WE ARE Corrections Officers, and we are proud of that title. We don’t treat our career as a stepping stone job into law enforcement, or a fallback job for washed out cops who couldn’t cut patrol. 

As Corrections Officers, our role in Law Enforcement is unique, and our career should be recognized for the noble professional it is. Understaffed, overpopulated, outnumbered, and managing over 70 plus inmates without the reliance of a firearm. It is us, the inmates, and our ability as leaders to manage them through the power of influence, practical wisdom, respect, courage and effective communication. It’s no easy task, but it is a necessary one that takes a special character with a unique skill set to do the job safely and effectively. 

Our job isn’t to impose punishment, that’s for the courts to decide. Our role is also not to demonize and mistreat anyone, instead hold them accountable, keep them safe and perpetually attempt to influence change. Our role as a Corrections Officer is one of many hats. We are the first responder to every crisis that occurs behind the walls: suicides, suicide attempts, assaults, fights, homicides, overdoses and sometimes riots. The list goes on as some are daily occurrences. We are at times the fill-in mental health providers and the only medical staff on site. While we are at times disciplinarians, we are also teachers, role models and counselors for individuals who have lacked that kind of figure in their life. We are not just guards, rather guardians. Defenders, protectors and keepers, and not to forget warriors, who are tactically sound and equipped at all times to always win every fight for a good cause.

The risks and rigors of our ever-evolving profession continue to rise, while corrections remains out of sight and out of mind. Our training and skills continue to adapt, fighting to stay in compliance with the changes and demands of our evolving profession. The rise in mentally ill inmates has risen to over 60% in our jails and over 50% in our prisons across the country. The heroin and opiate epidemic has created a revolving door to our jails with heightened risk for overdose and death, and now we are facing a synthetic drug rise that is bringing officer safety to a completely new level. However, the nobility of our profession is just as strong, if not stronger than it has ever been. We continue to serve objectively, reasonably and honorably. 

Everything we do in the glass house we work in is scrutinized by the public; our words, our actions and our decisions. However, as Corrections Officers who believe in perpetual optimism and values that are unwavering, we continue to stay rooted in the purpose in which we serve, and operate in a way that is legal, professional and safe. We are committed in training to win as warriors of a noble cause, and all of our skill and strength is used with good purpose. Conflict is never personal, and all of our force is objective, reasonable, necessary and justified. We are not paranoid, but always prepared, guardians first and warriors always. The safety of our staff, officers, inmates, and facility are always the top priority. Everyone goes home — that is our motto.

We continue to watch over and care for all who have been kicked out of society, to include the most manipulative, dangerous and violent individuals. We continue to protect their rights, protect them from each other and protect our communities from the most damaging members of society. We do so because we believe in justice and accountability, and that people who commit crime should be held accountable for their actions so that our communities can live at peace.

While it is easy to fall victim to the jaded cancer often preying on us within the walls, we recognize when it is time to detach, look at the big picture and reevaluate. We have the right to be human, but purpose keeps us reasonable. We remain objective and empathetic, never to be confused with sympathetic and compromised. We know that a wise decision is the right decision, meaning we know the right way to do the right thing, with a particular person, in a particular circumstance and at a particular time. Every person and situation we face is different. There are a percentage of inmates that are truly evil, but the majority are not. Most of the people that walk through our intake doors are at the lowest points in their lives; struggling addicts frequently making poor decisions. However, they are still people, and sometimes people we know and love. Every person has a story, so we meet people where they are at.

DIGNITY AND RESPECT

Through deliberate practice, we have learned that treating people with dignity and respect is not only vital to safe and effective operations, but also a true reflection of our character. We do not demonize — we leave our ego at the door, as we know that ego and disrespect is one of the quickest ways to create a dangerous and unsafe situation. The formula of our respect as Corrections Officers is that we don’t expect respect in order to give our respect. We operate out of respect regardless, not because we respect the crime or the behavior, but because we respect ourselves, our values, the situation, our agency, the badge we wear, the profession and purpose we serve. We know a person cannot give what they don’t have, and when an inmate doesn’t even have respect for themselves, we can’t expect them to give it when we demand it. Instead, with tact and strategy, we work to create trust with each interaction, finding what motivates that person and what is important to him/her. We are less suspicious and task focused, and take an active approach in being more curious and outcome focused. This is the foundation of influence and positive change, and it is only possible through actually caring. As a result, we then have the first step of reentry. Yes, corrections and the Corrections Officers who work courageously behind the walls are the beginning of Reentry. Ultimately, it starts with the person behind the badge, making a difference, leaving people better off than the way we found them and fulfilling our intrinsic value of purpose and accomplishment for the greater cause. Purpose is the root of it all, in “why” we do what we do. Sometimes giving people some dignity and respect who are at the lowest point in their life, dealing with addiction, have mental health issues, or both, just may just be the shift in true reentry that the criminal justice system needs. We try to correct through influence, helping individuals become safe and productive members of society once again. 

We are not soft and naive nor hard, ignorant and arrogant. As guardians we are both warriors and scholars, strong, skilled, knowledgeable and wise enough to use discretion to know when we are dealing with violent, hardened, manipulative and evil criminals, versus those who just made poor decisions. We fully understand that many aren’t going to change their ways, however, without hope, optimism and purpose rooted in service, we are only part of the problem. That is where faith in knowing we serve something greater than our self comes in to play. We let integrity, purpose and the nobility of what we do drive us towards our destination of success.

LEADERS OF INFLUENCE

As leaders of influence, each and every interaction has an impact and the opportunity to make a difference. With each mindful interaction, we’re curious, humble, confident and tactically sound without getting that confused with being judgmental and egotistical. We leave our ego at the door. We know that one interaction can cause damage to the entire profession and discredit all we do. However, one simple interaction can also make positive difference and impact the profession as a whole, helping us restore the trust and confidence that has been lost from some of the communities we serve. Even if we reach just one person out of one hundred, and help change their life, we are making a difference, making our communities a better place and moving our profession in the right direction. Empathy, dignity and respect go a long way. Not only does it make operations safer and more efficient, but it reminds offenders that their past and current situation does not have to define them, it can only remind them.

We have the power of control which is necessary at times, but more importantly our power of influence is the most powerful tool we have. Our power of influence is built off of a desire to solve problems and leave people better off than the way we found them. We never miss a moment to make a difference and impact a life, as this is the heartset of many Corrections Officers. An under recognized, yet unconditional form of public service. We are proud to be a Corrections Officer, and proud of our profession. Life is all about making a difference, and that just so happens to be what corrections is all about. No kid ever grows up wanting to be a Corrections Officer, but almost every kid grows wanting to make a difference, and there are Corrections Officers out there making a difference every day. 


Brandon Anderson is a Police Officer for the Sumner Police Department in Washington State. He has spent the last few years as a sergeant/frontline supervisor with a large regional jail in Washington. He joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and started working in corrections in 2012 at a small county jail. He has worked both indirect and direct supervision as a frontline officer and frontline supervisor. He spent two years as the training coordinator and primary TAC officer for the Corrections Officers Academy in Washington State from 2015-2017. As a Master Defensive Tactics instructor, Blue Courage instructor, Emergency Response Team instructor and Use of Force instructor, he is very passionate about training and optimizing the best out of those in our profession.