Close your eyes for a second. I want you to step into these shoes. Imagine … you are a teenager, walking home after hanging out at a friend’s house one evening. And suddenly, out of nowhere, the deafening sound of police sirens rings in your ears. The dark warm night suddenly feels chilly, as the car lights bounce around the willowy trees and messy electrical cables above your head. Before you can even process what is happening, a police officer asks you where the gun is, reads you your Miranda rights and sweeps you away.
You are arrested. Sentenced for a murder you didn’t commit. And you spend the next 15 years behind bars, unrightfully living out another man’s destiny.
Years pass. Beepers become iPhones; letters become emails.
At 34 years old, you are suddenly released back onto the streets of sunny Dallas. What has become of the world? What has become of your teenage home, friends, family and dreams? What will become of you now?
This crazy turn of events happened to a man named Richard Miles. A man who I had the honor of interviewing back in 2016. It was one of my very first interviews for Rank & File, and I had the honor of sitting down with him in Dallas, Texas where he shared his story with me.
Our 2-hour conversation, which you are about to hear recorded on my iPhone, was sobering and moving. I was of course stunned by the details of his prison sentence and exoneration, but what truly inspired me was Richard’s character.
Richard’s exit from prison would’ve spelled the end for him had he not possessed a social and entrepreneurial spirit, and a deep sense of faith to see him through. The true criminals, the ones who unlike him had been rightfully sentenced became his life’s purpose. They were worth loving, and working hard for now as a free man.
I’m not going to tell you too much now. I want Richard to tell you. I know you are going to be moved, inspired and personally challenged just as much as I was sitting across from him as he shares his story and wisdom.
Thank you so much for tuning in today and joining Richard and me as we dive into his journey. If you haven’t already gotten the chance to read this story in Rank & File Magazine, you’ll definitely want to do that. It’s been beautifully written up with powerful quotes from this conversation highlighted throughout. The humanitarian photographer Haley Ringo also took a series of amazing portraits of some of the men that Richard works with, and spoke to them about their purpose in life. They are powerful portraits that I promise, will move you and inspire you in your own role as a purpose-driven leader.