'N' level student-inmate from institution TM1
When we want to dissect and understand something it is always best to start with definitions and explore from there. To this end, what does acceptance mean to you? Some say that acceptance implies or encompasses unconditional love. Conversely, others contend that acceptance equals resignation. To them, iIt sounds like giving up. From my standpoint, acceptance means that notwithstanding our incarceration, we are liberated. As such I posit that the element of trust is a sine qua non towards acceptance. It is a vital value particularly for the 11 000 ex-convicts who are released back to society in Singapore every year.
For starters, how do we fill the void of trust deficit inherent upon our incarceration? To achieve acceptance, we first must acknowledge what exists. Basically, trust is the bedrock of expectations. We expect from people whom we trust. Therefore, leading by example is one way if we wish to be accepted by people around us. Show people that we can be trusted and they will reciprocate in kind. Similarly, take every opportunity to inspire confidence because acceptance is something that needs time to grow.
Naturally it may take days, months or even years for the public to develop that trust to believe that we may not act opportunistically or to their detriment. To this end, development of trust entails the demonstration of reliability with repeated exemplification over time on our part.
However, it takes just an act of dishonesty or betrayal to break that trust in seconds. This therefore begs the fundamental question: if trust can be broken so easily why do people even trust others? To put it quite simply, trust is inevitable. Humans are social beings that need relations to sustain a healthy living. We cannot imagine living in a world without trust! Beyond that, at a personal level, we should first and foremost embrace ourselves with a positive outlook. Have confidence in ourselves and have faith in our intuition. Intuition? That little voice inside. Our companion which will never denounce us. Never should one let the noise of detractors affect them.
Finally, we have come to the conclusion that trust is like a thread that binds acceptance. It should be noted that, once broken, it takes hard work to repair the broken trust. On the other spectrum, one should never overlook the merits by the virtue of forgiving and accepting those who are truly deserving of another chance in their journey of organic change. Afterall, life is too short to be skeptical all the time. To sum it up, it takes immense effort from both halves - the public and the ex-convicts, for the latter’s successful reintegration into society because ultimately trust and acceptance are two sides of the same coin.