AH035 No Excuses w/ Paris Robinson

On today’s show, I interview Paris Robinson. Paris Robinson grew up in Richmond, Virginia, was exposed to a harsh criminal element that he found motivating in his youth, and he was shot four times in the chest and is now in a wheelchair.

Paris goes deep into his story of why these things motivated him to live a life this way, his journey of being in and out of prison, being in and out of rehab, and how he spends his days now motivating others in wheelchairs to live a more fulfilled life.

Enjoy the show and as always, thank you for listening.

Angelo

About Paris

I was born and raised in Richmond to a single mother with an older brother who went to John Marshall High School. I have a son and a daughter. My father past away when my mother was seven months pregnant with me. I have had struggles with heroin addiction, been to prison twice both state and federal and, was shot in the chest four times and is now disabled in a wheelchair since 1998. Haven’t used any drug or alcohol for over two years. Now instead of using my disability as an excuse why I can’t do something. I try to motivate other people with or without a disability that they still have the power to succeed, all you need is the will, no excuses.

Transcription

Angelo: Paris, thank you so much for being on the show. Today guys I have Paris Robinson with me, how are you brother?
Paris: How are you doing?
Angelo: I’m doing wonderful. A dear friend of mine Mark England connected me to Paris, and he was telling me how amazing his story was and how inspiring of a person that you are Paris, so I felt like it would be only fair to have you on this Alpha Hippie Show. I really appreciate you being here with me today.
Paris: I’m glad you have me.
Angelo: Mark was telling me about, and a little bit from you too is that now you are going around inspiring others and specifically people that are handicapped—you mentioned you are in a wheelchair and we’ll talk more about how you got there, and how they can have a new lease on life, and they could feel better and do more, and have more with their life, which I think is so amazing that you are giving back to this community where I’m sure many people who suffer through accidents or things happen to them that they go into these great deep depressions. I have met people that have committed suicide and things like that. This is amazing work that you are doing. Before we get any deeper I just want to give you your credit man. That’s awesome.
Paris: Thank you, thank you man.
Angelo: So you grew up in Richmond, Virginia, what was childhood like for you? What was being a kid for Paris like?
Paris: My childhood was actually not that bad. I had a brother, I still have a brother, he is 10 years older than me, and most of my life it was me, him and my mom. My mother she provided the best that she could man. She loved me dearly- may she rest in peace now. She provided so that I had a house; I had my own room. I grew up riding dirt bikes and motorcycles. We had land behind our house where we would ride our dirt bikes and motorcycles on. My mother she was a wonderful woman man.
Angelo: That’s awesome. So you have a brother, he is 10 years older than you; what’s your guys’ relationship like growing up?
Paris: Me and my brother really didn’t have a relationship growing up because of the age difference. When I was 10 years old he was 20 years old, he was grown and he was doing his thing, and I’m little boy mostly in the way in whatever he was trying to do. I used to look up to my brother. I used to idolize my brother when I was a little boy man. He had gotten in a lot of trouble when I was young so a lot of me growing up he was doing his stints in jails and penitentiaries and stuff like that. So I really didn’t get a chance to know my brother until I was probably 18 or 19 out of high school, I was considered grown and he was grown and we got to know each other then. But growing up as a kid I couldn’t say that I had any type of bond with him.
Angelo: So there wasn’t much male role model or influence for you growing up.
Paris: No, other than my mother; she always said, “I’m your mother, I’m your father, I’m your uncle”, and she was, and she was all of that. She didn’t bring men into her houses where I could interact with them or anything like that. She kept her personal life personal outside of the house.
Angelo: You had a great mother, raised you right, raised you well, and then you had an older brother. What happened to you as a teenager, what was life like for you there? I know you mentioned to me before that you followed sort of in your brother’s footsteps. How did things transgress in that period?
0:05:02
Paris: When I started getting into my teenage years I started venturing more outside of the house. I started venturing more outside of our neighborhoods and I would see older guys hanging around and doing whatever it was that they were doing. They knew my brother, and they knew I was his younger brother, so they would always tell me like, ‘I remember your brother when he did this, and when he used to do this’. I had started looking at them like, wow man, all these people respected my brother. When I got in high school, I can’t really say when, because at one time I had expectations of being a basketball player or having what you would call an office in one of those high rise buildings somewhere, but somewhere along the line my expectations of myself changed and it was in high school but I don’t know when in high school that it changed.
My role model started changing, where it went from [inaudible 0:06:21] it went to John Gotti or it went to Nino Brow or Scar Face. I can’t say when I crossed that invisible in high school, but I knew it happened in high school. Then my friends started changing. I started getting into more trouble. I guess I started trying to live up to expectations people had on my brother as I was trying to live up to them and forgot the ones that I had had for myself.
Angelo: Oh, wow. Did your mother see this or know that this was happening to you, and how did that affect your relationship?
Paris: She didn’t quite know it at the time because at first I got into a lot of trouble in school, then I ended up going to a detention center, and when I came home from the detention center they put me back at school. I met a young female in high school as she was on the cheer leader squad. She was all into books and anything, and I knew that the only way I could get to court her or date her that I had to get my grades up, I had to go to class. That’s what I started doing. I started hitting books real hard in school trying to impress her and impress her friends, which my grades were never a problem, it was just me going to school was the problem. We used to have bets on who could have the best report card, and most of the time I would win.
My mother never knew of my school life, she just knew I would sneak out at night and I would go to the clubs with my friends, we’d hang out at, and she never really picked up on it because she worked all the time. I was the last kid, so like I said, it was just me and her so most of the time she had to do the work. When she came home at night she was born tired, she cooked, took her bath, went to sleep, and did the same thing over the next day. She really didn’t get a chance to see that until I started getting locked up once high school was over. I had more time to be around and sit around and get into trouble then. That’s when she really started to notice then.
Angelo: What was her response to that like? Did your guys’ relationship change once she saw you taking the footsteps of your brother and how did that work?
Paris: She never voiced that opinion on me but I could see it in her face. I could tell how she felt like. She had provided so much for me, I had gotten way more than what my brother had gotten, and I had gotten way more than what some family members and friends had gotten. She had provided for me, and I could see that she was so upset that I chose to go in this other direction because she didn’t want me to go in there. She helped me from that lifestyle. I could tell that I had disappointed her but being the mother that she was if I got in trouble, one of the things I would say with my mother as a child, she was the greatest mother that a child could ever want, but a young boy she was the greatest mother that I could want, but as a man she hindered me because she smothered her little boy.
0:10:25
So I never really got a chance to—when I got into trouble, I knew I could call on her and she would come. She would always rescue me. I never had to deal with responsibilities, or when I had consequences she would be there to help me so I never had to go through those consequences. When I became a man I was a man I was a man in body but I was still a little boy emotionally.
Angelo: Sure, absolutely. She was just really protective of you. How old were you when you first went to prison?
Paris: 22.
Angelo: How long did you go to prison for?
Paris: I stayed in prison for four years.
Angelo: What was that like for you? A 22 year old kid, you haven’t really had to face too much responsibility or consequences and you wind up in prison.
Paris: Actually, in my neighborhood and how we grew up going to prison is like a passage; when you become accepted, when you become one of because you did show that you can go in and put in the work and then come out and still be you didn’t lose your street credibility or your value. Actually going to prison for me wasn’t a scary situation, like I said, my brother was going to prison and me and my mom were going up there to see him every week as a juvenile. I was kind of accustomed to prisons from a long distance before because we were always being in one every weekend. Then when I got in prison the prison that I went to was only 30 minutes away from where I lived at. I could have friends come up to the gate and be waving like I never left home for real.
Most of the guys in there I knew them because I was well known at that time in the house, it felt like going to another family reunion of some people that you hadn’t seen in years. You are like, “man, this is where you’ve been?” He’s like, “yeah, I’ve been here for a long time”. It was like meeting people I hadn’t seen since high school just wondering where they might have been. That’s what it was like. It wasn’t like a shocking change for me. At the prison that I was at a lot of the mass there had to get out there and get over rand do better, do better at it, not to change, but how to get over a little bit more of the steam, and how not to get caught this time.
Angelo: It’s like a criminal university.
Paris: Exactly. It used to be Virginia Department of Correction and Rehabilitative, but they took the rehabilitative out and just made it Virginia Department of Correction.
Angelo: Now looking back on you, now you are older and wiser, and obviously you are on a different path, if you had to say something to this 22 year old self what would you say?
Paris: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your dream. Remember that there is more to life that what you see if you decide to be great you will be great, if you decide to be good you will be good. Great and good have too long distances in between them, and don’t settle. Believe in yourself, have faith in yourself, have faith in a high power, have faith that these two shall pass. Just give yourself a chance and opportunity.
Angelo: I like it, that’s awesome.
Paris: Like I said, when I was in high school I did things in high school that hinder me to date in my growth and development.
0:15:01 I made choices in high school that I’m still living with up to to date.
Angelo: Like what?
Paris: Like getting a criminal record. That still follows me to this day. Having a son when I was in high school, that’s a lifetime decision that I made, and he is still with me. He’s going to be with me until I die. It’s just choices that I made in school— I’m not saying that having my son was a bad choice, I’m just saying it’s a choice that’s I still carry with me to date.
Angelo: Your decisions definitely affect different parts of your life.
Paris: Then when I was young all I lived for at that time was that day, I didn’t really like setting goals or dreams for tomorrow, or if I did I quit on them, I didn’t see them through. I would say just don’t give up on yourself.
Angelo: That’s awesome. So you are 26, you are out of prison, what happens then, do you go back to that life? Talk to me about that.
Paris: When I got out of prison I went at home, and I went straight back to that life. I didn’t give myself a chance. What I had done in prison though for real was I had read a lot, I did a lot of reading in there, I did  a lot of studying, I did a lot of exercise in there because I knew when I got out I knew what type of obstacles I was going to face. The thing about them is I knew I had knowledge of what was going on and I knew how to apply but I didn’t apply the application to it.
I had all this stuff eternally but when it came time to get out and put it into practice I didn’t do it. It’s like I left it at the prison and I went right back into doing what I knew I was doing, I went right back to the same people, I went back to the same situation, to the same circumstances, to the same places, and just mingled in and fit right on in with what everybody else was doing. Because that was more comfortable for me than trying to do something different, or trying to do something new, and do what I knew how to do and do what everybody else was doing at that time.
Angelo: Wow, okay. You get out of prison, you go back to being in that criminal street life, when did you go back to prison?
Paris: I’m having a little trouble with my volume. Can you hear me?
Angelo: Yes sir.
Paris: Alright, I can’t hear you that much. Say what you said again?
Angelo: I said, when you came out of prison did you go back, and if so when did you go back to prison?
Paris: I didn’t go back to prison right away. I ended up getting into the same lifestyle; I was using drugs, I was drinking real heavy, partying real heavy. I got into a situation where I ended up getting shot. This was two years after I came home from prison. I ended up getting shot four times in my chest. At first I was paralyzed from my chest down. I was at MCV Hospital here in Richmond, and I was in there for quite a while.
Angelo: Would you like to share the story of what happened to you? What happened to you that you got shot? Were you just involved with some other people, or how does that even happen that you get shot four times in the chest?
Paris: Like I said, I was still selling drugs, I was still using drugs, I was still drinking and still partying. Something went down around my part where I was living at with some other guys. I had just left the club that night [inaudible 00:19:43] and came outside and when I turned around somebody was just standing there, and when I looked he shot me four times in the chest. He actually shot me once, and I fell to the ground, then he stood over top of me and shot me three more times in my chest.
0:20:02
When that was going on, after he had finished all I could actually think about was like, ‘god, please don’t let me die like a dog in the street’. You know how a dog is hit by a car and you see him lying on gutter the street between the cab and the sidewalk, that’s exactly how I was positioned, and I could think was, ‘god, please don’t let me die like a dog in the street’. I was trying to pull myself up on the sidewalk so I could position myself to sit up. As soon as I got on the side walk some friends of mine were driving down the street, they see me and they picked me up and threw me in the car, took me to MCV Hospital.
While they were running me through the door, the Afghanistan war was going on with Iraq and all that, there was a doctor, he was coming out of the hospital, they were running me in the hospital, he saw me and he got a gurney and took me in. I came to find out later on because they had to take out half my stomach, my spleen, one of my kidneys, my pancreas had erupted, half my intestine one of my lower-I  don’t know which one, the lower or the top, they had to take that out. I came to find out that the doctor that was coming through the door at the time he did the surgery on me, and he was just at MCV only because he was stationed in Iraq.
MCV is one of the top trauma hospitals in the country, and he was showing them another procedure that they were doing in Iraq on trauma patients dealing with gunshot wounds. He had just finished the class in there and I was coming in and he was going out. He was there man, and he did the surgery on me. At first it had left me paralyzed from the neck down.
Angelo: What were the chances that you were going to live through that? Do you know what was the probability?
Paris: The chances weren’t good at all because, my mother told me later on that the doctor had told her because I couldn’t stop bleeding at first, I wouldn’t stop bleeding so they couldn’t do the surgery. All they could do was just patch it up. She said the doctor had told her they didn’t think that I was going to make it through the night and to get whatever she had to do. I guess my funeral arrangements or whatever the case may be to make sure she had that covered and stuff like that. My mother she told me she told them, ‘all I want you all to do is the best that you all could do, the rest is up between him and god. That’s the conversation him and god got to have. You all don’t have that much power; just do what you have power to do’.
Angelo: Wow, so you are a miracle, being alive right now is a miracle for you?
Paris: Yes sir, yes sir.
Angelo: Awesome. How long were you in the hospital for?
Paris: I was in the hospital for at least 16 to 18 months.
Angelo: Holy shit.
Paris: Because I kept having, I forgot what they would call it, but I kept having to go back in; one time I caught pneumonia. The nurse told me ‘the worst thing that could happen right now is that you catch pneumonia’, and I ended up catching pneumonia.  I was on life support so they had to take me back in ICU and put me back on life support on a breathing machine. Then one time I had just gotten out of there, I was in what they call a Pit Unit, it’s a little upper from ICU but you are still not on the main floor quite yet. I was in there and once of my friends he came over to see me and he was in there sniffing his heroin and I still had tubes going through my nose, going down to my intestines, and I told him, I said, “man, give me some of that”. He was like, “man, you can’t use none of this. You’ve got tubes going through your nose”. I told him, “just put a little bit on my tongue”, and he did. He put a little bit on my tongue and within five minutes what I had on my tongue I kept telling the nurse that had walked in, I said, “nurse, I got to throw up”.
0:25:03
She said, “you can’t throw up, you don’t have anything on your stomach. Your stomach is stitched up and you are being fed through a feeding tube and it’s going straight to your intestines”. I’m like, “no, I’ve got to throw up”. She didn’t believe me because I hadn’t had anything on my stomach in weeks. From when I had put the heroine on my tongue it went down to my stomach and bust my stiches wide open and I just threw up blood man, everywhere man. I had to go back to the ICU again. That took probably about—I stayed in there again for about three weeks.
Angelo: Holy shit.
Paris: I had to struggle, and then I had quite bed sores from having to lie on my back for so long because they couldn’t turn me. Because I had so many tubes going through my body I couldn’t be turned to my side. I caught an infection from that. I had a rough stay in the hospital.
Angelo: It sounds like it. Almost a year and a half in the hospital, you get out of the hospital, how old are you?
Paris: I would say like 26, 27.
Angelo: Okay. Then what happened to you? You go through all this; you go to prison, you get out of prison, you get shot four times, you are living 18 months in the hospital, and then what?
Paris: Even before that, while I was in the hospital I started having to go to different hospitals and nursing homes or other institutions because I still couldn’t move with nothing but my head at this time. I would just sit or lie in the bed all day long with the lights out in my room and watch TV because I was so depressed. I just sat there and watched TV and watched the things in life on TV every day, all day, of things that other people did that I would never be able to do again. It just depressed me so bad man. It was just sitting there, just watching life on TV and just knowing deep down in your heart and your soul I’d never be able to do that again because I’m paralyzed from my neck down.
You see people having fun, laughing, going out, enjoying life, and it’s the little things that you miss doing so much, like just having your feet in the sand and feeling that. You know you will never be able to get the opportunity again. It was like one nightmare. My mother had passed away and I took that real hard because at this time I always felt like when I needed her the most god took her away from me. When I couldn’t bath myself, when I couldn’t feed myself, when I had to wear a diaper and all that, I was going through all this. It was always like, this is the worst time of my life that I need my mother and then she is not here.
Angelo: Maybe that was god’s way of teaching you the responsibility part. You mentioned earlier that you said your mom was around and it wasn’t easy for you to learn responsibility and consequences. Maybe that was god’s way of teaching you that.
Paris: I see all of it now, but at that particular time when I was going through it I didn’t see that. I was just saying, ‘why me, what did I do so bad to deserve this?’ Then one day I was in a nursing home and I wouldn’t do any physical therapy, I wouldn’t even try to do any physical therapy, I was mad at the world, I was mad at everybody to try to come and make some type of sense of what I was going through. One night I was asleep and my mother, she used to smoke cigarettes and she always like cold drops, she used to always eat them because when she talked she didn’t like people smelling cigarettes on her breath. One night I was in the bed asleep and I just heard this voice in my ear saying, “you better try, you better try to do something with yourself or you are going to die.
0:30:13
I didn’t raise you to be no looser, no quitter, no chunk. I raise you to fight, and you fight for your life”. I woke up, and I was like, man, where did that come from? I’m looking around because I’m kind of scared. I’m looking around like, where did that voice come from? Then I smelled all this cough drops.
Angelo: Oh wow.
Paris: There wasn’t anybody in the room, there was nobody in the room. Some people say that that was a spiritual awakening. It put a spark in me. When I got up that morning I was telling the nurse and she was like, “you just see old grandpa right there, he ain’t go do nothing”. I looked over and I was like, yeah, I want to try to do something. What happened was I had started getting a little tingling in my shoulders, so I was like I’m going to try to feed myself, I’m going to try to learn how to feed myself. What the nurses would do, they would put this strap on my hand so I could put it in a spoon and try to feed myself.
For about a week I could never get it up to my mouth and it kept falling. But every day it would get closer and closer and closer, and it kept falling down. They were like, “let us feed you”, and I was like, “no, I’m going to do it, I’m going to get it on my own”. I hadn’t eaten for a week because I would not let them feed me. I was like, “no, I’m going to do this”. I guess I got so hungry one day man that it just met my mouth, it tasted so good, that food was like the best ever hospital food.
Angelo: That’s awesome. That’s fantastic man. So you started getting feeling back, how much has come back?
Paris: Now I’ve got majority of it. On my left side from my waist down, my leg down I have no feeling at all. On my right side from my knee down it’s just spots, but I can’t feel anything in one of my feet. On my right side I can feel my thighs and all that, and it’s just spots and it’s we call a [inaudible 00:32:44] incomplete, which means now that I’m not full paraplegic, incomplete where I could still feel in spots now. It took a long man. It took a long time to get to this. It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen in months, it took years.
Once I had gotten myself physically fit, because like you man I like to work out, I like to keep strong, I like to stay healthy as much as I can, once I got that part down I didn’t do anything spiritual. My spiritual part of me was still closed or I hadn’t paid any attention to it. I ended up going out there and getting into the same situation, the same circumstances and dealing with the same people all over again and I got right back into the same place that I was in at first. I ended up back in prison, but this time I ended up going to prison at a federal penitentiary. It wasn’t no more home boys there, it wasn’t close to home, it was nowhere in Virginia, I was way in Texas and I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t have any support. It felt like I was all on my own, and I was like, how did I get myself way in here? What I’m I going to do to get about this one? I ended up staying in prison for 8½ years.
Angelo: Oh wow, so much more than before.
Paris: Yeah. While I was in there I did the same thing: I got into my studies, I got into working out.
0:35:06
I started trying to learn more about addiction and what makes the man tick, whatever that I could get my hand on and read. I got into reading about different religions and cultures. I did that and came home. I stayed home four months, and I ended up getting an overdose.
Angelo: Oh man.
Paris: I overdosed off of heroin and I had to go back to MCV. While I was at MCV there was a nurse there and she told me, “I know this drug place, a drug program called The Healing Place, would you like to go there?” I had been through so much and in four months, I was like I would try anything. Yes, I would go. Once I got to the healing place, the first month that I was there was a behavior modification program and they tell you about the choices that you make in life and how your behavior affects or your thinking affects your behavior.
I read this great quote from Martin Luther King where he says, “Two of the greatest things that hinder a person’s growth and development is stupid thoughts and dumb ideas”. If the reoccurrence of stupid thoughts and dumb ideas, because if they reoccur then you start to listen to those stupid thoughts and those dumb ideas, and if they reoccur and you start to act on those stupid thoughts and dumb ideas as if they are true. I like quotes man. That was one that stuck to me while I was in there. My parole officer had got wind that I had overdosed so she came down there to lock me up. I ended up having to go back in front of the judge. He gave me a year and a day I ended up going back to Kentucky to do a year and a day. While I was in Kentucky, once I got three months left and I was just lying on my bank man, I was just going over my life.
I was like, man, what I’m I going to do? What I’m I going to do when I get home this time? My experiences had shown me that every time that I came home from prison, every time I came home from jail or any other place I thought it was party time for me. I used to always tell myself, yeah man, I’m going to go out, I’m going to go home and I’m going to have this big hoorah, and do this one thing one time, and it’s off to working, it’s off to this, but it never stopped. Once I started that one time it continued on and on until the progressing got worse and worse. I was like, man, I ain’t prepared to do that.
I ended up calling The Healing Place, and I told them I had been there before, right before I got locked up and I’ve really got a lot [inaudible 00:39:02] and I felt like if I didn’t get back in there that I was going to die. Because like I said, my experience has shown me that I was still doing the same thing, it was the same. I had to try something new, so for the first time instead of me leaving prison and saying, ‘it’s on, I’m free I could do this I could do that’, I said, no I’m trying to get into this drug program to just be myself a little bit longer. They told me once I finished that I could come right on back. The day I came home I went straight back to the drug program.
Angelo: Oh, that’s awesome man. This was the first time you came home and you were sticking into something positive.
Paris: Yeah.
Angelo: That’s awesome. How long were you in that program for?
Paris: I stayed in that program about a year.
Angelo: A year?
0:40:01
It’s a 6-9 months drug program, but then they got another thing called Caritas Work, that’s a 5-week program. That’s when you go in they give you jobs, skills, job training, they teach you how to do applications, how to do interviews, computer skills. Then you’ve got to dress up in a suit and tie for 5 weeks like you are going on a job or an interview every day. That was a pretty awesome program man. I learned so much in that program.
Angelo: That’s fantastic. That’s cool dressing up, that makes it feel like it’s real work.
Paris: Yes.
Angelo: How long ago was that in your life? You were there for about a year, how long ago from today was that?
Paris: How long ago today?
Angelo: From today, when you were in that program?
Paris: I’ve been out of there for three months now.
Angelo: Okay. What has life been like for these last three months? What have you been doing?
Paris: My life is so awesome now man. I moved down to the county, I’ve got my own apartment, I moved to my own apartment. Me and my significant other, my girlfriend, I’ve got a girlfriend.
Angelo: Alright.
Paris: We moved out into the county. The strange thing here: I was telling her I don’t want to move into the city, I want to be out so I can focus on myself because sometimes my distractions would turn into my attraction and it would take me off course. I was like I need to be out. We ended up getting an apartment, and the thing about it that was so funny to me is that there’s a jail right up the street from where we stay it, and I was in that jail for 7 months at one time. But I never knew how the jail looked on the outside or what street it was on because I was in the inside of it. I live out here now and roll up to the street and I just look at the jail and it is always a reminder of where I was at and where I am now, so what I have to be grateful for. It is a reminder also, that if I don’t continue to do what I want to do in life and prosper that I can always go back to the inside of that jail.  
It’s so funny because, like I said, I was in there for 7 months and I never knew where it was at. My life is so wonderful now. I try to use now my wheelchair, I look at it more as an asset. Now I get to talk to people, I get to help people. I don’t know if I would have ever got this opportunity if hadn’t gotten in this wheelchair. I get to talk to people like you, like Mark, I get to go motivate people, other people that are in wheelchairs or going through some things. When I was in the hospital or when I was at a nursing home and somebody would come in there try to talk to me, they didn’t really know what I was going through so they couldn’t really give me the information because I would look at them they would get up walk out of the room and leave. I’m like, how do they know what I’m going through? They’ve never been through this before.
I know what it feels like to lose your limbs. One minute you know you are walking, the next minute your whole life has completely changed. I know what it’s like to be in a hospital with bedsores, I know what it’s like to be homeless, I know what it’s like to suffer from addiction, and I just try to motivate, let them know that life isn’t over. I thought it was. I know what it’s like to be depressed and go through life. If you went through what I went through you would get high or you would get drunk or you would do this too. I know what that’s like, but I also know what it’s like to overcome those obstacles, to feel better about myself, to push myself, to strive to get some type of spiritual connection.
0:45:01
I would never have dreamed this two, three years ago, four years ago, that I would be doing this now because I was so stuck in prisons and jails and addiction. It just seems like god was just waiting on me.
Angelo: That’s awesome man, such an inspiring story. Look at what your life is about now: it’s about service and giving back. At one time it was the complete opposite. It’s amazing. It’s fantastic man, very, very good. Thanks for sharing this story. What’s going to be next for you? What are you trying to do now? What does it look like for you? What does Paris look like for you in the next year or two? What does your life look like?
Paris: Next week or two I have to talk to some kids at this high school here in Richmond, and that’s going to be a lot of fun, because I remember when I was at that age and somebody would come in and want to talk to us in class. That’s going to be very interesting. I go around with my friend Mark and we do synopsis and I speak. I’m trying to speak man. I’m trying to be available for every opportunity that I thank god puts in my path, just to be open and just willing to help somebody. It doesn’t matter how big or how small man. My schedule revolves around other people’s lives today, I’m just trying to give and not take today.
Angelo: I love it. That’s amazing man, very, very cool. I end every show with one question and so I’m going to ask you: if you had one word you wanted to be remembered by, what would it be, one word?
Paris: One word? I would say motivation.
Angelo: I love it. It’s perfect man. Thank you so much for being on here Paris. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring story, my man. I’m so happy for you and so grateful to know you. Thank you so much.
Paris: Thanks for having me man. I enjoyed it.
Angelo: My pleasure, this is great

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