James Leroy Wilson

Aside from a couple of isolated years, all of my life has been on the prairie in the middle of North America. This is populated by kind, generous, and humble people. I am thankful for this.

I write from Ceresco, a village in the state of Nebraska, USA. I'm the youngest of seven children. My father was a moderate Evangelical Christian minister in an era before "evangelical" became synonymous with American nationalism. My mother was a homemaker and church musician. They are now retired. When I was six, our family moved from Nebraska to Saskatoon, Canada where my parents served a church from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. I grew up proud to be an American but also learned the critical perspective from which Canadians (and the rest of the world) often view American domestic and foreign policies.

We returned to the United States and I studied Political Science at North Park University (B.A.) and Loyola University (M.A.), both in Chicago. Pursuing academia further didn't feel right for me. I worked at a Christian bookstore and then moved around a bit before returning to the village of my early childhood. I became an activist, and the organization I worked for resisted the wars and domestic surveillance policies of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. We also promoted economic freedom and Congressional reform.

I'm no longer an activist and have changed my strategy. I know Gandhi didn't actually say “Be the change you want to see in the world,” but it's still sound advice. After all, to "change the world" means changing other people. But who am I to tell others to change if my own soul is in chains?

Perhaps "the world" doesn't really exist. Maybe the only world I can change is my world. My thinking, my habits, my relationships. My world is the only one I can make more peaceful, joyful, kind, forgiving, and generous.

And so I invite you on my journey of liberating "the" world, which is really just my world. I may find lessons anywhere: the basketball court, an old detective movie, an ancient philosophical tome, gossipy news of a CEO getting fired, a report of a Bigfoot sighting, or a long walk.

I've been influenced by 19th-century anarchists and 20th-century metaphysicians. By Laozi and Jesus. But also books such as Michael Lewis's Moneyball, which helped me spot inefficiencies in day-to-day life. My interests are varied, and the more I learn, the more there is to learn.

Articles by James Leroy Wilson

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