How Chris Wilson Went From Life In Prison To A Life Of Meaning And Purpose


Chris. Welcome to the unmistakable. Creative thanks so much for taking the time to join us. Thanks for having me. It is my pleasure to have you here. So i actually came across your story up because of an article that you wrote on medium about the books that change your life in prison and i remember reading through that and my first reaction was jesus this guy Learn to speak multiple languages. Read all these books for hey. I went to berkeley. And i didn't do anywhere near that in four years of college So we'll get into that. But i think i want to start with what i think is a fitting question that i tend to ask a lot of people and that is what did your parents do for work. And how did that end up. Impacting the choices that you ended up making throughout your life in your so gr growing up. My mom started her career as a nurse. How after she graduated from college and then she went back to school and she got a couple of certifications became a paramedic and pretty much work in the medical field. Emergency response feel for For like the rest for life and so. My dad was Electrician so he worked for electric company. So that's what they did. What what impacted they end up having you in terms of the direction you end up going well. My mom Had raised me by ourselves because my dad and my mom got divorced when i was eight months. No my father wasn't really a part of my life growing up but the impact of my mom had me is like my mom because she was a paramedic. She worked twelve hour shifts. So i was still with my grandmother Monday through finding a civil my mom on the weekends and so i would. Just kind of like a hybrid. So my grandmother's neighborhood was like a really tough neighborhood. washington dc. This was late eighties early nineties and my mom lived outside of dc maryland. And a pretty like you know. Middle class neighborhood was nice. It was mixed white people black people in everything was like really cool around a but My mom when i had time to spend. What does she instilled in me. A good work ethic entrepreneurship in and being nice and respectful. Mom for the most part at least initially when i was younger mike. Thanks changes certain point. So i wonder what that point changes because i remember you. There's something that you said in the book. And this is one of those things like i. I look at basically took everything that a highlight and underline and put it into a document. But you said you know when you start from a place like division avenue. Life's fragile you don't get to make mistakes because you don't have a safety net but and you know when i when i read that and i was going through the book I remember going to school an probably. What was the worst neighborhood in a place called bryant texas and it was in seventh grade and it was by far the most dangerous area of town and i used to have to stay there late at night because i worked at the university. So it'd be terrified as this seventh grader after basketball practice but i also think that to some degree probably i have certain biases about that neighborhood. Ob just baked into how. I was raised by And so i wonder what about what about those kind of environments. Do you think that we have misperceptions about from you. Know media like my immediate thought was. Oh this is probably just like boys in the hood rob so like how accurate is stuff like that. Well i would look at it differently right a little bit. I would say. I mean you're right in the sense that folks have their biases about Neighborhoods like that. But i think what people don't think about is what would have conditions in policies that will put in place to make these neighborhoods. The waiting. Were you know so like police Name was policed in. You know people just being harassed by the police. That's what happened with. Like when i was growing up. Only come through his jump out. Pakistan folks didn't own a home folks Couldn't get jobs so there was a lot of stuff but these were like based off for policies put in place that kinda like creed atmosphere what he's neighborhoods dangerous so always important for people to remember that So that's something that you know. I don't think people think about no well. I mean you. And i were talking about this before we hit record here I remember dave chapelle talking about you know with your an african american men. Your relationship to law enforcement is fundamentally different than that of other people like you actually have a relationship of fear of the very people who are basically put in society to protect you absolutely absolutely Better than us especially at my neighborhood on weight it was just all black people and so only interaction while white people were police and when they would it would pat down. It wasn't like nice. It wasn't like it would ask. Holiday was so we grew up this way and then when stuck what happened in our neighborhood. I'd say shoot something like that and like folks like neighbors or call the police. It'd take a mike thirty five minutes. Get it twenty. Minutes or maybe. Sometimes they didn't even show up so this was a relationship with them growing up in. So is this like naturally like and then we see people on. Tv shot by police like all the time. So it's something like it's a survival mechanism to just be you know worried police.

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