Sunday, January 12, 2014

An Honest Man

We can meet quality people in the strangest ways.  The other day when I was walking to work my job supplied cell phone slipped out of its belt holster and got left behind on the sidewalk as I walked on to work.  When I arrived there I realized it was missing.  After a frantic couple of minutes searching my pockets, backpack and pockets again I had to call the cell phone lady at my job and alert her that the phone was missing.  I thought it fell out on my commuter train ride to work.

As I was speaking with her on the phone my secretary came in to tell me that a man was on the phone and he had found my cell phone!  He was calling me on my own cellphone.

I jumped over to that line and the guy said he found it on the sidewalk on the route to work and he would bring it to me.  I demurred because I didn't want to put him out and told him I would come to him.  I asked how to find him and he told me that he is homeless and could be found in front of a certain gas station.   I agreed to meet him there and raced off in a car to find him.  I only had about $20 with me as a reward and I hoped that he wasn't going to hold the phone hostage for more.

I met him and three buddies in front of the gas station.  His name was Frank and although unshaven he was clean and his clothes the same.  He handed over the phone and told me it was the right thing to do and to have a nice day.  No request for money or any reward.  He was ready to walk away but I stopped him, gave him the $20 that I had and asked him if I could get him anything at the gas station.  He reluctantly agreed that some coffee for him and his mates would be nice. 

When we went in he got the coffee and then agreed to some donuts when I suggested them.  I got some cash back and gave that to him also.  He hadn't been homeless too long, maybe half a year, and was still hopeful to get back into the mainstream of society.  His friends were ecstatic to get the hot coffee.  They shook my hand and wished me the best of luck and then set off down the sidewalk with their steaming cups of coffee, off to look for some work.  The stay together in a shelter overnight, presumably for support and protection.

I was blown away by their dignity and honesty.  Never a request for a reward, nothing about their bad situation, just a desire to do the right thing and move on.

You can meet the best people in the most unexpected way.

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