There are certain things one learns in school and life you think will never use; math, science, social studies etc. Eventually you realise that these teachings are in use in your daily life all of the time. What I learned while under the tutelage of John is not one of those. Paradigm Thinking is something that can have a real, immediate impact on your life. It is a proverbial rabbit hole if you let it be. The teachings, put into practise, led me to a deeper understanding of myself and those around me. I became aware of the factors influencing my own decisions and became more tolerable of the actions of people around me. I have been able to become accountable to myself and take meaningful responsibility for my actions. I have improved patience and tolerance. I have been set on a path to meaningful personal understanding. I can be who I am with less regard for the outside worlds intolerance.
I suppose I should not be the one writing this testimony. These things happened and I don’t notice them so much now. The skills I had drilled into me are part of my maturing self. To get a real understanding of the results you could ask those closest to me. The people hurt and disappointed by my words and actions. They would say that I or we owe so much to John. They would say that “Anthony has finally taken steps to maturing into a man.” They would say that Anthony is not perfect and his transformation not complete, but his digressions are fewer and shorter in duration.
I entered prison as an angry, prideful, ego driven young man. In some senses prison crushed this and my self image. John guided me during my personal renovation project. We took everything down to the bones and began a rebuild. Rebuild isn’t the right word. It is accurate to say that John guided me during the demolition of my old façade to reveal what I am really made of.
I unconsciously use the teachings of Paradigm Thinking moment by moment during life. In the last few years these skills have allowed me to foster personal relationships and be at peace with my past. When I do irresponsible things I can take ownership and move on. I find myself much able to move smoothly through life without letting life have such a impact on me. Rather I impact life. Paradigm Thinking allows you to safely turn the mirror on yourself. Looking at yourself is much tougher than reflecting on others. John isn’t judgmental. He takes things as they are and guides you to the solution. He doesn’t give you the solution. He lets you find it so it is yours.
Paradigm Thinking helped my through the last years of my imprisonment and the rocky period that followed my release. My learnings continue to shape my thoughts and decisions. And I have a lifelong friend from it.
Anthony Mason Partner RLS Group Canada