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Like A Dog

12/22/2013

I saw a homeless man on the street yesterday.

He had a dog with him and I thought to myself, “That poor dog.”

Then I wondered why I didn’t  immediately think the same thing about the man.

He’s obviously suffering, too.

Sometimes you discover things about yourself that you don’t like.

In that moment, I did.

I think there is something deep in me that sees a man on the street and assumes that he is responsible for his situation.

Maybe because men have most of the power in the world.

I would have had empathy for a woman or children.

Like I did the dog.

I don’t know this man’s particular story, but there have to be thousands of stories of good, honest, hard-working men who are struggling and for all kinds of reasons can’t get a leg up.

Because who would choose living on the streets over any option to live otherwise?

But if he didn’t have that dog with him, the man might have just been invisible to me.

It’s a far reaching problem in our country now.

What was once “one nation, indivisible” is becoming one nation of individuals.

More and more, we have each other’s backs less and less.

Community is lost to personal agenda.

And people like the guy I saw are being lost in the process.

I hated discovering that I contribute with my own indifference.

I did not give a man the attention I would give a dog.

It’s shameful.

Even a one-legged table needs at least three feet to help it stand.

The one good thing about discovering things about yourself that you don’t like is that it gives you the opportunity to improve.

So, I went back and brought him food.

Just some packs of tuna, crackers, nuts, and a few bottles of water.

Things that would not spoil his backpack.

And some kibble and treats for his dog.

I was out only about $25.

I won’t even notice.

And shouldn’t.

 

There are 10 comments in this article:

  1. 12/22/2013Chris Newton says:

    Good post, consider it one of 26 acts of kindness for the 26 souls lost at Sandy Hook School. I read about that on twitter Ann Curry started this right after that happened and I have been doing them for about a year, Hope you have a great Christmas and that there is something under the tree for you. Hopefully you can find something hanging around for the attorney!

  2. 12/22/2013wfregosi says:

    The new face of poverty in this country is of people and families who work, and work hard, but still live below the poverty line and whose children have a very poor chance of breaking out of the downward social and economic spiral, because nothing’s trickling down to them. Bless you for helping that man and his dog, you did something lovely. But it’s a sad indictment of contemporary America that you and other compassionate people can only offer an aspirin to a situation that requires major surgery.

  3. 12/22/2013Laurent says:

    Very thoughtful and a Merry Christmas to you Tony.

  4. 12/22/2013Jeff M. says:

    You’re a beautiful man, Tony. Inside and out, whether you believe it or not.

  5. 12/22/2013Glen says:

    Good for you Tony, I’m sure you made his week! This is something we ALL should do on a daily basis! Not just at Christmas time!

    Just finished reading a book, “The Storm before the Calm”, it talks about this in great detail. The winds of the human spirit are changing, for the better!!!

  6. 12/22/2013kipp51 says:

    Tony,

    So true the middle class is now the working poor. And we look at
    people as you said and consider their situation as their fault.
    Actions such as yours and a kind word goes a very long way to
    improve a persons day. It is very simple just be human.
    Have a very Blessed Christmas with Granny and the Attorney.

  7. 12/22/2013Nick says:

    Hear! Hear! Well Done LJ!
    That’s the Xmas spirit.
    Merry Xmas n happy 2014
    Big Fella.

    Cheers

    Nick

  8. 12/22/2013Laura says:

    I work in a homeless shelter and the number of people we have already sheltered this winter is up 27% over this time last year. We’ve had life-threatening cold weather the past couple of weeks and our shelter is bursting at the seams. We have guests sleeping in hallways, storage rooms and the office.

    The good news is that the generosity of our supporters has been overwhelming. So much so that we’re having to refuse offers of food and clothing because we’ve simply run out of space to store it all. It’s a wonderful problem to have. 93% of our funding comes from private individuals and our volunteers donate thousands of hours a year to keep our shelter running. Just when you think that no one cares about their fellow man anymore, people prove you wrong. That man you saw is likely on the street because there aren’t any shelters that would take in his dog too.

    Tony, thank you for what you did. For future reference, one of the best items that one can donate to a homeless person is socks. A person can withstand a lot if they have warm, dry feet.

    Merry Christmas to you, Granny and the Attorney. Wishes for all good things in the new year.

  9. 12/23/2013DamienOz says:

    And again – you prove why I consider it a great privilege to know you Sir.

  10. 12/24/2013james of the woods says:

    granny raised you right! happy christmas!

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