“Your life will always matter, simply by being”
Jose Lugo is a former L.A. gang member who served a four-year prison term for robbery. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, Jose was able to find more love on the streets with his friends and the camaraderie they brought than he had growing up. The gang life seemed to be the answer for a 16-year-old kid at this time, being too young to fully see the truth and consequences of his actions.
His crimes started small but increased until the crime that led him to prison for a five year sentence. After serving a little over four years Jose was released back onto the streets he called home. Jose still felt imprisoned in his mind and thought process. His ego and pride were fueled by the wrongs he did, thinking it was right at the time. The Prison and street mentality were similar.
It took another two years before a shift began in Jose’s mind. He was at the barber getting a haircut when he stepped outside to stare down the barrel of a gun, held by a person he had a disagreement with a few weeks before. The gun shot three times, hitting his friend in the face. As his friend lay hurt and bleeding Jose thought he would never get off parole if he stayed in L.A. and was ready for change.
Although his father was absent as he grew up, he offered him his home in San Antonio and a chance to get his life together. Jose took this opportunity to change his environment and leave the place that would eventually have killed him.
While Jose was attempting to live a regular life in San Antonio, he was having a hard time completely kicking the street life way and did little things here and there that kept him holding on to that persona. This eventually led him to having an identity crisis, realizing that the prison and street life image doesn’t translate well into regular society.
He moved to Denver and fell into a dark depression. The depression was so overwhelming and disruptive to his life that he lost his job and girlfriend within a three month period. The depression led to dark thoughts of sucide and every day became a battle of life or death.
Jose cried out to God asking for forgiveness and through this saw a glimmer of hope. This was the catalyst that changed his life forever. An aha moment where he realized something he had heard before, your life will always matter, simply by being. He had a new sense of hope and realization that his life matters.
This led to a new purpose for Jose. He knew that if his life mattered then his story mattered just as much. He wanted to share his story and other stories with the world. With the help of his brothers, they created the organization ‘We Are All One Story’.
The premise is simple. They listen to stories of people and they share them with the world on social media. The ask person the same set of questions that help people access their deepest emotions by asking them how the situation made them feel. Often the release of their story is cathartic and healing.
Taylor personally interviewed Jose and learned more about him. Listen to the full interview on YouTube
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