The men in our society have lost their God-given position.  We have truly fallen from the grace that was given to us as a man.  When the head is lost and confused-the head being the MAN! then our families are lost and confused and then our society becomes lost and confused as well.  I believe that this is one of the reasons why our young men of today have ended up the way they are now, because there is not many strong MEN today.  Babies having babies!  How can they be a strong head of household when they were not taught and shown what it really means to be a true father or the Head/Provider!

How can we as a society begin to redeem ourselves as Men and Heads of household?  One thing is for sure, our Thinking has to change!  If we can’t change the way we think as a man, then we can’t change the course of our young men today.  We need more strong fathers to get involved in our communities and with patience and perseverance, and teach our young men what it means to be a Father.  Those of us who has gone through the vicissitudes of life are the ones who must take that stand and be willing to teach our young men how and what it really means to be a Father.  Being a man is one who accepts all the responsibilities and the challenges of life.  Not one who blames everything and everyone for their misfortunes and hard times or struggles.

As a man, you must be willing to listen attentively and apply the skills and knowledge that is being taught to you from someone who has gone through the same problems and setbacks.

We must change our belief system.  Our belief system is the main thing that has gotten us all messed up now.  But then, that’s all we have is our belief system, which is comfortable and easy.  But if we look at it, where has our belief system gotten us?  No where!  but stuck blaming others for our misfortunes.

So, let’s start by changing the way we think and then we can begin to change that old faulty messed up thinking into positive thinking.  Let us begin to set some realistic goals and develop those goals into a plan and put that plan in motion.  Let’s do it!!!!

Sam R Ford BSW

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This is a group where we come together and discuss our thoughts and feelings.

We will engage is a whole new [journey]-well, I’ll use the word migration, migration because when on a journey, you return to where you started and by migrating, you leave from where you were and begin with a new beginning.  This new beginning may  seem weird or strange to you.  You will have thoughts like, “man, this is not me” or “my dudes will think I have become soft”.  Even the negative energy that promote these kinds of thoughts will be more intensified.  Why?  Because, the negative energy does not agree with the positive energy that you have tapped into now.

However, each individual must by all means be totally honest with themselves.  We know the whole truth about ourselves.  We must not wear that mask any longer.  The mask that we hide behind. The one that puts up that front in public.

It’s been too long now, WE-as X Offenders- have been chasing a dream that will just not happen because we have been going about it the wrong way.  No wonder we always end up at the same spot, because we keep trying to reach new goals and dreams with the same old way of thinking.

WE must change our way of thinking.  Thinking Controls Behavior, so if our thinking controls our behavior, then we must change our thinking, first!  This is the beginning of change! If you have joined this group, then you have taken the first step to a New Way of Thinking.

You should begin to keep a journal on your thoughts and feelings.  You must be true to this new way of thinking or change will not occur and become defeated as in the past.  If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then YOU can achieve IT!

Sam R. Ford, BSW,MSP, CDCA

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The Man and The Mask

The Man and the Mask

September 24, 1990


I admit that I am the man with the mask. I wear it every day, until the lights go out.  Then I feel safe in taking off my mask and being myself, with myself.

I bury my head in my pillow and brace myself for the flashbacks of my memories.  My tears are silent, but the pain burns deep in my heart, placing the memories deep and deeper into my soul.

In the daytime when I use the phone or receive a letter from a loved one, it reflects the pain I feel.  I sit down to write, since I can’t share my feelings with anyone or allow them to know how I am actually feeling sad and hurt and lonely.

It doesn’t matter because I am always prepared with my mask of happiness or my mask of portraying that I’m all right.  It is very easy to hide behind my mask, but the pain it costs to wear it, is overwhelming.

I am the man-and-my emotions are the mask.

          I wrote this during my time in prison….


Sam R. Ford BSW

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Understanding who we really are!

Understanding who we “Really” are!

First and foremost, we are spiritual beings having human experiences.  We are a spirit and we have a soul and we are housed in this body.  When God the Creator blew into the nostril of Adam, Adam became a living soul.  The soul consists of the intellect and the emotion and the ability to reason.

Our spirit man came from the CREATOR/GOD. When the body dies, the spirit returns to the Creator.  However, the soul, which is the conscious state of the soul=the consciousness/awareness.  This is what will live forever, whether it is with its Creator or with that fallen angel known as Lucifer.

Now listen!  With all this being said.  Here we are today.  This is the challenge that we are faced with today.  After the broken relationship between Adam and the Creator, there was put before mankind the power of Choice and that choice became THE CHALLENGE OF MANKIND, listen to what God said in Genesis the 4th chapter and verse 7.  The Creator told Cain who killed his brother that> “you will be accepted if you respond in the right way.  But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.”  (NLT)

In the (NIV) it says>if you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

In the (NAB) it says>if you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.”

Here we are with the challenge to respond correctly, and if we choose to be the master of sin, then we have chosen correctly.  But if we choose to live in a broken relationship with our creator, we have chosen incorrectly and therefore sin becomes our master.

Think about this question.  Doesn’t it seem foolish to respond incorrectly to the One who has created you?  Sure it does, especially when this Creator can just simply stop thinking about you and you will no longer exist.  David said in Psalms the 8th chapter and verse 4>what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?  (NLT).

The sin that was mentioned above can be categorized as that old sin nature which operates out of that negative energy that flows throughout the universe. There are negative and positive energy/forces.  What happens is this, when a person decides to change their life and do what is right, that negative energy intensifies.  All the tests and challenges become tantamount.

We must remember, that old sin nature-that being, our habits, weaknesses, addictions, this is the enemy who sits and crouches at the door, it desires to have you and it/he will never go away.  It/he will remain there until we die.  However, we can master it and we should be in control of the choices and the decisions that we make in life.  We are responsible for our own actions and behavior.  Our behavior is dictated by whichever energy or forces we allow to control our thinking.

It’s like this; we have lived and operated for so long out of the negative energy, because that’s all we know.  We were born into this body of sin.  WE had nothing to do with it.  The first sin of disobedience was passed on to us, that old sin nature.  And so, when we change our lives and begin to operate out of the positive forces, the negative forces becomes really hard to leave behind.  But, we can master it,  it can only come through what was, what use to be in control.  Understand this, when we were operating out of the negative energy there was no challenge because you did what you wanted to do, this is all we knew.  “Allow me to stop here and explain allegorically what the negative and positive forces are; the negative forces represent the enemy/devil/Lucifer and the positive forces represent God/the Creator/Jesus Christ”.

I feel that if we have a better understanding of this spiritual realm then we will better understand how to live in this world, and how to better respond when these negative test, challenges, habits want to exert itself, especially when it comes to the crimes and troubles and wars and killings that we hear about over news.  These are the last days in which we are living and that old enemy does not care who it destroys.

So the question becomes, where am I going to spend Eternity?  Whether you believe in this concept or not, it remains a FACT!  We will spend it in either two ways, with our Creator or separated from our Creator.  Trust This! It is going to happen!   I would rather take my chances in living the way I was created to live than to not live out my purpose and then when death comes and I have to face my Creator.

Now, I didn’t want to come with no big words or no super slick words.  I just wanted this to be very simple so that anyone can understand it.  The whole thing in a nutshell is this, either you manage you or something or someone will manage you…either way, you will be managed!  I refuse to allow SIN to manage me, I will master it!  And it can be done, we just have to be determined and committed and stay focused.  


Sam Ford, BSW, MSP, CDCA

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Remaining Focused

Remaining focused is not easy. It is a battle, because that old belief system refuses to die. But, when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change, change will occur….
I think that we are drawn away by the distractions that “will” occur. Life’s challenges are just that, “Challenges”. It’s a challenge to stay focused and we cannot stay focused if we don’t have a plan…. Which becomes your Life Plan. With a plan—–A written Plan—-that plan becomes your guide, because if you work for the plan, the plan will work for you.
We must begin to understand that there are two types of energy that flows through the universe, and that energy can only be identified as Negative and Positive Energy. It and of itself cannot be seen, but we see the effects of its forces and we experience the consequences of operating out of its forces, whether it be Negative or Positive.


Sam Ford, BSW, MSP, CDCA

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I once read some where during my incarceration or during my time of understanding who I really am, that “our greatest assets are common sense and clear thinking; When we find fault and blame others for our misfortunes, we deceive the inherit ability to reap a rich and rewarding life.  People must construct their own lives or life will be empty and meaningless.  In order to fulfill ourselves and live a rewarding life, we must set realistic goals and a definite plan of action to attain these goals. All actions start with a thought.  All rewards in life start with right thinking and following through with appropriate action.  No one can do it for us; All we can do is support each others endeavors; and in a positive and loving way correct errors in thought and action.  Our greatest strength is for oneself and others.

Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) states that “our problems are caused by our perception of life’s situations and our thoughts, “Not” by the situations themselves, “Not” by others, and “Not” by past events.

I think that every person should ask themselves this question “what is it, in my heart, that I must do, be, and have?  And Why?”

Lets be very clear about something, the main example serving as a pattern for understanding the  “I” of who We are, the interplay of our genetics and our environment, robs us of something very important and that is “the distinct desire you feel to be you”.  By accepting the idea that we are the effect of a subtle buffeting between hereditary and societal forces, we reduce ourselves to only being a result of these two.  The more our lives are accounted for by what already occurred in our chromosomes, by what our parents did or didn’t do, and by our early years now long past, the more of our biography is the story of being a victim.  We are living a plot written by our genetic code, ancestral heredity, traumatic occasions, parental unconsciousness, societal accidents.

We as Thinking Beings should begin to dispel the victim mentality from which we as a people cannot recover until the theoretical paradigms that give rise to that mentality have been exposed and set aside.  We are victims primarily of theories before they are put into practice.  The fact of the matter is We need to understand the Calling, about fate, about character, about innate image.

This innate image is the image that WE are created, in the likeness of, which means that we are created to be a Thinking Being just as our Designer “Thinks”.  He thought about us and we ARE!  WE cannot begin to understand who we really are without understanding our designer.  If I wanted to understand a thing, I must go to the designer and follow the instructions of the designer.  Then and only then can a thing begin to understand its function and its purpose.  Each person enters this world Called.  WE are responsible for answering that Call.  What call, the Call to understanding and knowing the “ABSOLUTE”, “THE UNMOVED MOVER”.


Sam Ford, BSW, MSP, CDCA

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My life since prison

I’m a 53 year old man now.  When I first went to prison I was 26 years old. I spent half of my twenties and all of my thirties and half of my forties in prison.

The eighteen years was for a murder and the two years was for felonious assault.  I spent twenty years behind bars.  I served eighteen years straight for the murder case and then after being released I landed a job in the state of Michigan, I’m from Ohio.  The job was obtained through a temp service.  I was released on the 14th of August, 2001.  Shortly after being out, this temp service sent me to Michigan at a recycling factory.  I was working there for about 90 days and then found myself in an argument with another worker which ended up with me catching a felonious assault case.   I was arrested and sentenced to 2 to 15 years in Michigan.

I am here to tell you that I learned more about myself in those two years I spent in the Michigan penal system than I did in those eighteen years.  I say that because, this is when I began to change the way I think.  I received a letter from a very dear friend and he began to tell me that “I lived a certain way for so long until that was all I knew.  My belief system was all distorted and if I was going to change I must change the way I think, first”.  After reading and re-reading those words something began to sink deep into my soul.  I began to enter different programs dealing with a cognitive theory approach to life’s situations.  I knew then that I was on the road to recovery and rehabilitating my sense of self-worth.

However, the previous eighteen years in prison were not spent doing nothing.  I received my G.E.D. and then went on to obtain my Associates Degree.  I did feel good about my accomplishments but still there was this anger problem I had to deal with.  So, after being released from doing the eighteen years, I thought I was good to go.  But still, there was this anger problem that had not been addressed.  And, this is where I re-offended.

When I was released from the Michigan penal system, I landed a job at a local Wendy’s restaurant.  I worked for about a couple of months and then I enrolled in school at the University of Toledo.  I graduated with a GPA of 2.89 in the Social Work program with a Bachelor’s Degree.  I am now employed as a Corrections Officer in a Treatment Facility which house inmates who are at risk of going to prison.  This facility is a prison diversion program with an 80% decrease in the recidivism rate of offenders.

My testimony is this, “People” can change!  I am living proof of this fact.  And yes, we as ex-offenders do need help from society and our love ones.  When I go in to work, it is not just a job but I go in with the hopes of having an intersecting moment with whoever will be willing to hear my story.  And, there are those individuals who listen with intent ears and when these particular inmates can see with their own eyes that some one who has gone through the system and turned their life around, they can begin to have hope, hope of changing their  way of thinking with the tools and skills provided through our program.

There are days when I go and volunteer at my job on my off days and share my story in our aftercare program.  I do this because I truly believe that people can change with the necessary help.  I really like helping those individuals who are or may be going through what I experienced as an offender and now an Ex-Offender.

I have started this program called Generation X.  Generation X is a cognitive theory based program that is designed to reach those who are at-risk after being released from prison.  When I say at-risk I mean in terms of the choices and the decisions that are made without thinking about the consequences.

Generation X’s goals and objectives are to enhance and equip the individual with the necessary skills and tools so that the individual will be able to make better choices and better decisions when faced with the different choices and decisions in life.

And so, I believe that I can give back to society by being a living example that people can change their lives.  Change from being a felon to an X-felon or X-whatever the individual want to change about themselves or the way they think.

Society really wants to help those who are disadvantaged and struggling, but at the same time society wants to see results of a changed MIND resulting in a changed person.  This is where Generation X comes in and gives the individual the necessary tools and skills it will take to change that old way of thinking into a new way of thinking.

So, this is my story in short.

Sam R. Ford, BSW, MSP, CDCA

Toledo, Ohio

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