Gratitude Exercises & Questions for the Future

I thank //name of the person//
for //action person did//
which made me see or realize //own behavior//
and I started //active change applied from learning//.

Reflective Journal – Entry #7

After yesterday evening talk with another Makeright volunteer Raoni, I tried to apply his “Thank You” + gratitude exercise to the work.
Found myself much more deeply involved into the people I talked to – reached deeper, ended up risking to fuck up the situation because of all the spontaneous me that came with it.

  1. While the learners were fixing the prototypes, ended up to tell Ash that his solution “was not as stupid as it seemed at the beginning”. Luckily enough, Jamal made fun of me and all ended fine.
    Thank you Jamal, for pointing that out because it showed me how inappropriate I can be at times: in the future, I will consider my words better because I respect you all and want to show it.

  2. While Pras was telling me why he’d like to move to Germany, I made and anti-semitic joke – and realized right away how bad that was. Again, lucky enough he later on told me he didn’t hear it or understood it.
    Thank you Pras for not reacting badly because it showed me even more how disrespectful that and I was, and how I should not act anymore.


Being present means being present, all involved. Have to learn how to properly manage it in order to help others, and reach the goal of having most of them finishing the course.
Understood my goal 2 weeks in.

Very interesting talks afterwards, with the prison industries wing manager Keith; the strategy professor Steve; principal investigator from Makeright, professor Lorraine; and course manager Pras.

  • Keith & Lorraine: they love how the other course manager Erika interacts with the inmates, even if she doesn’t follow all the rules.
    Question: how to manage security better, without compromising the project itself?

  • Steve: looked into his prejudice on Japanese wearing masks when sick. I did what I usually do, dig too deep without giving nothing back (or too small). When I left, had the distinct feeling I made him feel uncomfortable.
    1. Stop enquire, start sharing and putting yourself at the same level as the other person (vulnerability).
    2. Also, ask for other’s opinion when sharing your point of view. “This is my opinion, what do you think? How do you feel?”
    3. Better questions! I need to ask better questions. Learn from Service Design interview process.

  • Pras: discussion about perception and reality of homosexuality amongst prisoners.
    1. Most volunteers are LGBTQ
    2. Inmates dislike the concept of gay people (in and out of prison)
    3. Same-gender sex always occurs in prison

    – Could LGBTQ volunteers help changing the inmates’ perspective?
    – Could forced same-gender sex in prison have a massive impact on the inmates’ idea of gay people?
    – Could forced same-gender sex in prison higher the disconnection between inmates & inmates, and within the inmate himself?
    – Can same-gender sex in prison as answer to animal need enforce the violent/aggressive tendencies?


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