Thanks Guys: A Homeless Tale

Thanks Guys

We’ve known Lonnie for about six or seven years now. He’s homeless.

There was a time when he had a spot where he always slept at night, outside, under a big awning that protected him from some of the rain and snow, but none of the sweltering summer heat or frigid, icy winter winds. Whenever we drop off a meal or a snack or a couple bucks, we always receive the same response: “Thanks guys” says Lonnie, with a great big, glistening smile that tries in vein to cover the ocean of sadness behind his weary eyes. Lonnie is well read and knows a thing or two about world history. After every conversation we leave shaking our heads in wonder; “ Lonnie … he could be any other lawyer, broker, or banker walking around downtown … but he isn’t … Lonnie … what happened …?”

Entrepreneur

This summer, Lonnie has been running his own successful business. He buys bottles of water for sixty-five cents and sells them for a dollar.  His marketing campaign consists of one air-brushed T-shirt that he wears with pride. It says: Lonnie’s Ice Cold Water.

Recently, on one of our evening walks along the harbor, we saw Lonnie. It was a hot night and cold water was just what we needed, but Lonnie wouldn’t sell us any. “I’m doing okay guys. You help me when I need it, now I want to help you.” And once again we walked away from a conversation with Lonnie shaking our heads. “Lonnie … he could be any other lawyer, broker, or entrepreneur walking around downtown … but he isn’t … Lonnie … he’s so real, so grateful …”

The Bigger Test

Judaism teaches that sometimes wealth is a greater challenge than poverty.
Want to know what Judaism says is often the greatest challenge of all? It’s the struggle to say thank you.

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Comments icon August 28, 2009

YOUR THOUGHTS

By Adam Krasnopolsky on July 20, 2010 -- 2:11am

Outrageous that he wants for anything, his Universal Declaration of Human Rights rights violated by the jurisdiction in which he resides.  Shocking that there is any want for anything by anybody.  I guess society is too convinced that they are worried about botching things a la “The Road To Tyranny”.  And there is no lawyer who will seek enforcement of his rights to be free from want.

By reuve on November 21, 2010 -- 7:12pm

You mean
“tries in vain…”

Nice prose

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