CSI: New York actor Hill Harper (Dr Sheldon Hawkes) stresses the importance of following dreams, helping others and fostering successful relationships.
Harper is a Harvard Law graduate, but he chose to pursue a career in acting. “Luckily, my family and friends were supportive of my decision,” he shared. “They understood the importance of me following my passion. Of course it was a risk – taking risks is essential when following one’s dreams. It is so easy to follow the path of least resistance, but if we do that, we will never manifest our destinies!”
While at Harvard, the actor was classmates with President Barack Obama, and the pair have remained friends. “President Obama is a busy man these days, so I do not ring up the White House,” Harper said. “I’ve been there a few times and we are all very proud of him. As he says, the best thing any of us can do to help him and this country is to volunteer and serve in some way to help others who are less fortunate. And I hope I am doing that through my Manifest Your Destiny Foundation.”
Harper wrote two books targeted toward young people: Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny. His third book, The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships, is geared toward an older audience. “I started to wonder whether men and women even talk to each other,” Harper said. “I mean really talk—easily and freely, without reservation—like we do with our friends. I believe the time is now to deal with real issues in the community about men and women and how we are connecting and not connecting. We are growing jaded, cynical, tired, and world-weary before our time. We are expecting less and demanding less, and those lower expectations are making us unfulfilled and taking us farther from each other. The walls between us do not serve us.”
The actor’s purpose in writing The Conversation was to open the lines of communication between men and women. “I would love to see women talking to and asking questions of men, and vice versa, to bring more clarity and peace to the way we deal with each other,” he explained. “And, most importantly, find happiness in relationships.”