Last week there was a photo that went viral on the web. It was a
picture of a homeless man in New York’s famous Time Square, barefoot being given a pair of boots by a police officer. It was a cool thing to see and a great story – someone doing something good for someone else. It was very inspirational and maybe we should leave it at that. But no, let’s hear the rest of the story.
First let’s hear the background; the homeless man has been homeless and living on the streets in New York City for ten years. He’s a retired army Veteran and estranged father of two children. He has relatives who
love him and claim their door is always open to him but he chooses to live a homeless lifestyle. They have not heard from him since last January.
So far it’s still a sad story isn’t it? Well it won’t be for much longer. The homeless man reported to a newspaper that no one had his permission
to put him on YouTube and he wants his fair share. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie,” he said to reporters.
Hmm. How sorry do you feel for him now? Not so much huh? He’s not
wearing his new boots either. He claims they are hidden because he could lose his life for wearing them because they are expensive. And I suppose he receives more “donations” if he’s barefoot and I would have to guess that he probably sold the boots for drug, food or booze money.
You can’t help people that aren’t willing to help themselves. No good deed goes unpunished. Something I also have experience with. I once worked for a company that sold bedding. We had a pile of sheet sets that were out of date style wise but were still very nice. They were flannel sheet sets and it was winter. I arranged to donate the items to a battered women’s shelter. I figured the women at the shelter would really appreciate the items, but I got burned too.
A day after the sheet sets were distributed a line formed outside
of our retail store. It was the women from the shelter standing in line with the sheet sets they were given for fee. They attempted to return the items for cash. After that the company would no longer let me donate items so instead we destroyed them and threw them in the trash. You could give some people the world and it still wouldn’t be enough.
I hope the police officer that gave the homeless man the boots still feels good about what he did and I hope he hasn’t let the latest news tarnish his heart. He still did the right thing by trying to help out someone in
need. But sometimes no matter what you give it still isn’t enough.