Hope. Perseverance. And above all, staying positive.
That's the message Jacksonville native Carlos Wallace hopes to share with readers during an 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. book-signing Saturday at the Jacksonville Public Library.
In his book, “Life Is Not Complicated, You Are: Turning Your Biggest Disappointments Into Your Greatest Blessings,” Williams writes about losing his parents and his job, along with the collapse of his marriage.
“It was important to share these experiences, because too often, people only see the end results; what has been rebuilt after the devastating storm, and that can be deceiving,” Wallace said. “It gives onlookers this false sense of reality and perpetuates misguided notions that success and a good life and peace of mind come easily.”
Rather than perpetuate this kind of thinking, “I wanted to let readers know that I didn’t get where I am without my share of failures and that you simply cannot let these failures derail you – I can’t stress enough, as long as you have breath, you have hope,” he said. “Never give up.”
A 1989 graduate of Jacksonville High School, Wallace is a Navy veteran and fifth-generation railroader, who once worked as a corrections officer for the Texas Department of Corrections.
He also is president and CEO of Sol-Caritas, which has produced a series of multi-city tours and events featuring stand-up comics and entertainers from Houston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, according to a press release.
“Through Sol, we encourage comedy lovers to take that aspect of their lives and use it to help others,” he said. “What sets us apart in our industry is our philanthropic spirit. Sol-Caritas and its audiences assist local charities, give back to education through scholarships provided by the Alice Wallace Scholarship Fund and support businesses by offering valuable sponsorship advertising.
“If you are passionate about something, it should show. Your gifts should not be limited to a limited circle. Spread the generosity, spread the good feelings, spread the benefits. It comes back to you in the end,” he said.
“I was concerned that there was far too much negativity on social media, and really felt it could be a source of encouragement,” Wallace explained.
His thoughts and observances quickly drew “a fairly sizeable following,” and two years ago he was approached by a publishing company interested in a book based on those encouraging update, he said.
Initially, “I did not even consider the idea. However, friends, family – even co-workers – urged me to take the publisher up on its offer,” he said. “I had no idea what I was getting into, or where to start – and, ironically, not a clue what I was going to write about! However, once I sat down and wrapped my brain around the notion, the ideas flowed.”
Response to the book has been plentiful and supportive.
“I have actually received notes, emails, texts from nieces and nephews, and even from the sons and daughters of my friends letting me know how much they appreciate the message of the book. When you can stir a generation that is typically mesmerized by technology, with a book, I think it’s safe to say, you are on to something,” Wallace said.
He is looking forward to visiting his hometown this weekend, saying he appreciates those who helped inspire him and support him in his endeavors.
“People achieve success and never stop to appreciate the fact that a lot of people helped get them there. That is why coming back to Jacksonville is so important to me. This is where it all began,” he said.
“Life Is Not Complicated, You Are: Turning Your Biggest Disappointments Into Your Greatest Blessings” is available in hard cover, paperback and e-book format.
Saturday's book-signing is sponsored by In His Image Ministry.