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A Begging Success Story

Monday, January 24, 2011

We've all heard this story, I'm sure. A 53-year old Brooklyn native Ted Williams, homeless man with ‘golden voice’, gets a full-time job and home offered by Cleveland Cavaliers. He also gets a bunch of help from Dr. Phil, and I don't know who else...

The story goes like this:

A Columbus Dispatch reporter found Ted Williams on the side of the road while he was panhandling. A sign he was carrying reads:

“I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully appreciated. Thank You and God Bless You”

Here is the YouTube video that went viral:

So, this gives me hope! What are the odds, I wonder...

If you were homeless, living in a tent, scrounging for scraps, alchoholic, drug addicted, flat broke, would you, in your wildest imagination think that overnight you'd become a celebrity with a job, a house, and all the psychological counseling you needed to keep that job and that house? And if such an amazing piece of luck could befall Ted Williams - why couldn't something equally amazing befall you? or me? us?

And yes, you are all in this together. That article at the Onion is pretty funny - definitely worth a read!


Cindy H said...

What surprises me about the Ted Williams story is how many people are angry, bitter, and/or distrustful about it! People are saying it's a hoax, he doesn't deserve it, etc. I think it's a great story and I'm so glad that this guy is getting another chance at life!

Perfect story to bring up during this month's project! I think it's important to note that Ted Williams wasn't JUST begging, he was actually offering a "service" for the handouts - he was using his announcer voice to impress the potential donors! So does that mean that he wasn't just a "beggar" and was instead a savvy businessman? How many other guys standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign actually DO anything for that handout? Just there a difference?

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Hi Cindy - I've been mulling this over, and it occurs to me that there is a discrepancy in my belief system.

On the one hand, I believe it to be true that i don't have to be deserving of Angelic Aid - all I have to do is ask for it. Theoretically we don't have to "earn" a divine intervention. Divine interventions occur because we are loved for who we are and not for what we do. And along with this is the concept that who we are is wonderful.

On the other hand, we don't like to give to people begging on the street because they don't "deserve" it, or didn't "earn" it, or maybe they are lazy, etc... There's a judgment that it's what you "do" that's important. And that of all the things that you are if you're homeless, pathetic, and begging - wonderful is not one of them.

So we judge - and yet we don't want to be judged...

Looks like now I'm going to have to totally rethink my attitude and actions towards panhandlers, beggars, and the needy people in my life.

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