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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:41 AM

 

A Homeless Man Was Sitting in The MacDonald's...

Last edited Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:44 AM - Edit history (1)

Where I stopped for some late heart-arresting fare. It was about 11 pm.

He was sitting alone in the corner. He appeared to be in his mid-sixties, was wearing a few layers of clothes that weren't filthy, but were obviously worn. He also had a bright yellow knit hat that he kept pulling on and taking off every few minutes. He hadn't bought much food, but he did keep getting up to refill his soda. When he did, it was with difficulty as he had an obvious motor disability.

He was just the sort that 'normal' people revile and avoid.

But there was something to this fellow. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I've always been pretty good at recognizing 'special' in people.

So when he got up and lingered in front of the TV to catch a clip on CNN, I got up, walked over to the TV, and said: "So, how do you think the humans are going to wind up?"

He looked at me and smiled. "Well, the humanoids are in big trouble, but they're going to be okay.". He also seemed to have trouble speaking, but I could understand him well enough.

"Really?", I asked feeling like I was participating in a non-terrestrial commentary on a planetary drama.

"Yes, they've tried to wreck things, but I've watched, and they'll make it. Getting rid of all the fear and hate is the hard part, and there is a lot of it right now, but it will eventually happen."

"I figure we'll have about 4 decades of very rough times, but I agree they'll pull through. I figured you'd know something about it."

He smiled and nodded, and we sat back down.

A few minutes later, as we were leaving, he came to me and said, "I really enjoyed my stay here and our breif conversation. You leave me intrigued, challenged, and edified."

"Thank you, so did I. Spirits be with you.", I said, and we went on our ways.

It wasn't a deep conversation, but it was apparent that no one had treated him as an equal in some time. He was genuinely pleased that I spoke to him. I have little doubt he has insights and wisdom that most 'normal' people never will.
When we look around, we judge others based on the most superficial criteria. The truth is that treasure lies inside so many people we might otherwise dismiss. Sometimes the exercise of reaching out to find it is well worth the effort.



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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Homeless Man Was Sitting in The MacDonald's... (Original post)
The Doctor. Nov 2012 OP
MannyGoldstein Nov 2012 #1
The Doctor. Nov 2012 #7
tama Nov 2012 #19
Bozita Nov 2012 #2
Iwillnevergiveup Nov 2012 #3
DakotaLady Nov 2012 #4
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #5
The Doctor. Nov 2012 #9
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #14
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #6
Patiod Nov 2012 #13
pacalo Nov 2012 #15
Patiod Nov 2012 #24
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #21
babylonsister Nov 2012 #8
bluesbassman Nov 2012 #10
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #11
tblue Nov 2012 #12
tama Nov 2012 #20
DURHAM D Nov 2012 #16
Yooperman Nov 2012 #23
Cha Nov 2012 #17
kimbutgar Nov 2012 #18
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #22
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #25
longship Nov 2012 #26

Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:44 AM

1. Thank you for being a human being

That's what it's all about - contact, caring and understanding.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:47 AM

7. You just made me very sad.

 

But really, it's partly my fault.

When you said, 'being a human being', my very first reaction was disgust. I have been so ingrained with the notion that humans are ignorant, petty, contemptible creatures, that I failed to recognize that 'being human' should be a noble standard to aspire to.

The sad part is how that reflects on us as a society.

Thanks tho.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:14 PM

19. If we don't love our selves, our humanity

 

how can we love anyone else?

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:51 AM

2. Givers of good vibes usually get them back, manyfold.

That's why you posted that excellent exchange, isn't it?

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:31 AM

3. You may be the conduit

to a less stressful life for that gentleman....especially if you encounter him in McD's on more occasions. Just have a feeling each of you has made a new friend.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:34 AM

4. Warm Fuzzies

Thank you for this.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:14 AM

5. Keep your lamp trimmed and burnin'

Keep your antennae up and polished.

The World will give you treasures...

It's all there...
DBH

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:50 AM

9. I wish I could recommend a post.

 


There are so many ways to see the world, we cannnot hope to envisage them all.

But to try, to merely try, that is what makes us truly wonderful.

And endeavor so we shall.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:08 AM

14. Love those!

To the OP & everyone who could use one:

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:38 AM

6. Just watched a Ted talk given by Temple Grandin.

Speaks to the issue of autism. Much of it applies in general to misfits, people who are reviled or ignored because they are different. Many people who are different (not all) have some wonderful gift that is not immediately apparent to others.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:08 AM

13. I disagree

My late Dad used to believe that there is something special in everyone

He used to embarrass us by starting in depth conversations with waiters or waitresses, poking around to see what else was going on with their life. I'll never forget one mousy, quiet waitress - the least "different" person you would ever want to see, and when he asked her what else she did when she wasn't working at the restaurant, she started telling us about training horses that went on to the Olympics with their rich owners. That sort of thing happened all the time.

Once at a turnpike rest stop, he was in line with the Governor of Pennsylvania, and said "Governor Shapp, I want you to meet my friend Sue" and he introduced the Governor by name to the stunned teenaged cashier (my dad commuted between the Philly suburbs and Lancaster every day for a few years, so he knew all the rest stop cashiers by name).

The young guy at the turnpike reststop McDonald's drive-through window was smart to tell my Dad he was a huge baseball fan, because he subsequently saw more Phillies games from our family's season ticket seats than I did. A turnpike tollbooth guy became a golf partner after my dad found out he was also an avid public-links golfer (how do you have a conversation with a toll-booth guy?)

The elderly cleaner at the hospital got a contribution that helped him accompany his church's mission to Africa after my dad asked about what he did outside the hospital. Another hospital cleaner was singing quietly to herself late one night as she mopped up after my dad's roommate, and after a conversation with my dad, ended up coming in on her off time to sing hymns for my dad and his roommate.

There are treasures all around us, in the damaged and the "normal", cleaning our floors and checking out our library books.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:41 PM

15. I really like your post as much as the OP's.

Your dad was quite special & must have been a priviledge to know. He loved people & knew there was something special within everyone.

I was very fortunate in my most impressionable years to have worked in a Human Resources department for a company whose managers were all very much like your dad. I was so impressed with their interpersonal skills that, like a young human sponge, I knew I wanted to be like them & soaked it all in. I know your dad would have liked them.



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Response to pacalo (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:39 PM

24. Thank you, pacalo.

He was indeed a "piece of work". His "harassment" of strangers used to embarrass the hell of me as a kid, but oddly enough, I now interview people for a living, so I think some of it rubbed off.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:31 PM

21. Some people who are "different" are dangerous.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:49 AM

8. Thanks for sharing with us, and for reaching out to this man.

The milk of human kindness never goes sour.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:58 AM

10. It cost you nothing, but was a treasure to that fellow.

Thanks for the reminder that a few minutes of our time can mean so much.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:42 AM

11. To The "Good" Doctor...

You have a very kind and sensitive bedside manner.
Thank you.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:49 AM

12. Every homeless person has a story

but most have no one to tell it to. I always wish I could ask them to tell me what happened but I don't want to pry into their business. I'd love to find a way to let those who want to talk to me know that they are welcome. I think many of them have a lot to teach the test of us.

Thank you for treating that man like a human being worthy of speaking to. You made a big difference in his life, I guarantee it.

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Response to tblue (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:19 PM

20. Homeless talking

 



&feature=related

&feature=relmfu

&feature=related

etc.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:43 PM

16. Your post caused me to think of this -

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”


― Walt Whitman

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:09 AM

23. Holy Wah!

I am speechless.... Thanks for posting. I think I will pick up one of his books... what would you recommend? I feel I may be ready for him now....

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:29 PM

17. Sniff..

Wow, what a treasure you unfolded, Doctor.

Here's to humanoids!

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:12 PM

18. I talk to homeless people all the time living in San Francisco. Some of them are lost souls

But if they say something to me I respond because they are human beings who have fell on hard times. Last Friday a homeless man got on the street car in a wheelchair wearing a garbage bag as a rain coat. He was a sight to see. He asked me for spare change as he wanted to go to mcdonalds for breakfast. If I have money in my jacket I usually give it to them but today i had only a little money. As the train continued downtown I remembered I had a $5 gift card for mcdonalds I gave it to him and he asked me if I wanted to join him for breakfast! I told him no because I had to be at work. He was so happy when he got off that train. It made me feel happy all day seeing him so happy. Another homeless guy I used to see all the time wore a raggedy coat with holes everyday I would pass him and he would say hi beautiful. At first I was horrified but I got to know him and his dog. My husband had an old coat that he wanted to give away. I gave the homeless the coat and a short time later he got off the streets and into a rent control apartment but he still hung around and he told me the coat was his good luck charm. The last time I saw him he was moving to Reno to live with his sister because he was now clean and sober. He brought me some special cookies as a thank you. It just goes to show you sometimes small acts of kindness go a long way. Whenever I can I pass food or a little money it's so hard to see people hurting. I could never be a republican.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:27 PM

22. Kudos.

You, sir(madam?), are a rather marvelous example of a human being. That is all.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:27 PM

25. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, The Doctor.

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Response to The Doctor. (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:13 PM

26. Wonderful post, my friend.

A hearty R&K.

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