Charles Thomas

Part 2 of 3: We’re introducing the entire team over at Queen City Forward. After meeting Charles meet Christie Kahil and Tori Karlek. The full team is here.

Hi! Meet Charles. Not only has he been somewhat of a mentor and inspiration in my professional life, he has really effected me on a personal level. When my wife was pregnant and after the baby was born he was always genuinely interested in how we were doing. Not only how my wife was doing but how I was doing. I distinctly remember many of the conversation during some of the roughh times. Having someone that listened, understood and shared real experiences… not advice was something I appreciated more than anything. He’s awesome. You should meet him. I asked him five questions.

What are you most passionate about?

Let’s see. I’m passionate about solving problems, particularly social problems. When you first asked that the first thing that comes to mind is peace which is a general thing. Very broad but I do have a vision for all of it. I have a Star Trek vision of the world. This is the real me. I believe in Star Trek and what that means is that all these humans relating and getting along and getting along better. The role that I play in it right now from an economic perspective is how can we all participate in this economy in a way that we all have opportunity and benefit to grow ourselves and our family. I think we all pursue the same thing. The better we are at knowing each other and knowing that the better processes we have in place like the economy to allow for connection and community it leads to this peace. It’s not a very clear answer but it’s something that my wife and I think about quite a bit. We’re trying to create an ideal world. That’s my passion.

What absolutely frustrates you?

I want to say ego. I think a lot of problems in the world are because of people getting in their own way. I feel like we can house the homeless. We can feed the hungry. When you look at how aid and such flows through the world there’s always these human dynamics that block the flow. What frustrates me most is when we are locked in our paradigms and they are so rigid that they don’t recognize our own contribution to the problem therefore our own contribution to the solution. That’s again maybe abstract. So let’s say what really frustrates me for instance is when you get into political debates when it’s about the problem and solving it as a community but people are so intrenched in their ideas and aren’t willing to listen to others. That’s what frustrates me most. It creates inefficiency.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Star Trek. I’m a big sci-fi TV watching guy but I also like to read fantasy books. I don’t like sci-fi books though. I like magic books. Like wizard worlds and such. I’d say it’s just reading and watching sci-fi movies I’m really happy. Babylon 5. Time travel shows. Dr. Who. The old Dr. Who though. That counts as an indulgence.

What’s your least favorite trait about yourself?

It might be my favorite trait as well. My strength is my weakness. It has to do with the level of taking things seriously. What came to my mind is that I work too much. Maybe too hard. It’s kind of a compensation for me feeling like I haven’t done enough. That I should do more. Not that I’m not enough. It’s more that I need to make more money. It comes from growing up and not having a lot of money so I have to work harder than anyone else. I have to run faster. At the same time, particularly lately if you asked me i’d say i’m just trying to balance that. How do I balance that with my family and my wife. Probably my least favorite trait is when i’m not present. When i’m not present with people in front of me. Especially when i’m not present with my family.

If you had visitors in town and had two hours to take them anywhere in Charlotte where would that be?

I’d probably take them to my house. Meet my family. Where would I take them in Charlotte? My favorite restaurant is Crepe Cellar. I would take the to an On Q PLay. I’m not sure where i’d take them. I’m happy to tell people about Charlotte when they are here because I am from Charlotte and there’s so many things to talk about. To me it’s more of a what are they interested in and i’ll put them somewhere that they will appreciate.

Joanne asked if you could combine two animals what would they be and why?

I know! I saw it at the McColl Center. This is going to be the statue in front of QCF. I’m not exactly sure what it’s called. It was a combination of three animals. I believe each of the animals were endangered species. It had the wings of a condor. Some sort of jackrabbit like animals and another with antlers.

You can find Charles on Twitter @sankofaphotog.

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