Value


Happy New Year everyone!  Since it’s a brand new year and a with a brand new slate to scrawl upon I figured that I would use todays post for a positive message.

I am sure by now most people around the world have heard about the homeless man in Columbus, Ohio who has an incredible voice.  Tailor made for radio and announcements.  If you are one of the few who have not seen this video go ahead and take a minute to watch and listen.

Now I am sure that thousands of people have crossed his path in the months that he has been on the streets.  A kind few may have even stopped and thrown him a buck or two.  Apparently no one ever thought to stop and talk to him.  Let’s face it he’s a scary looking dude, camouflage jacket and hair that looks like it was caught in a weed whacker.  Perhaps a shifty look in his eyes, a look that screams out lock your doors and shelter the kids.

But someone finally did stop, curiosity perhaps drew the camera crew from the Columbus Dispatch.  His sign claims that he has a talent, a voice made for business.  They film him and the rest as they say is history.  Job offers from the local basketball team to do voice over work. Offers of housing, donations aplenty in his name.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish Ted Williams, former homeless addict and alcoholic all the best.  May his path be easy in the days ahead because I am sure it was hard as hell in the past.  Beating an addiction is never easy, many try and fail hard.  Being homeless with an addiction in this day and age is nearly a death sentence.

But what makes Mr Williams more valuable than the next bum on the street?  Maybe Mr. Jones living in the cardboard box under a flight of stairs in a grimy back alley has a movie star smile underneath his layer of dirt and sweat.  Probably not, but maybe.

As I rebuild my life from the ruin that it was in only a few short years ago I have learned one very important lesson.  Value, everyone has value.  Sure maybe half of the people on the street are total dickheads, maybe they beat their wives and kicked baby kittens.  Perhaps they deserve a bit of hard time to make them appreciate a good hot meal or a warm bed.

Let’s face it in todays economy there are a lot of good people living hand to mouth.  Perhaps only a few dollars away from living on the street themselves.  Like my old friend, Jesus of Osborne Street, we all have a past.  Most of us are valued now, why not him?

I am glad that Ted has gotten clean and has a shot to get off the streets.  To do good by his 9 children, to give love and feel loved in return.  So just remember as you turn your head the next time someone down on his or her luck crosses your path.  Maybe just maybe they have value too.

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9 responses to “Value

  1. Definitely a whirlwind in the first 24 hours of this video hitting youtube. When I first looked at it yesterday morning there were less then 10,000 views.

    The world only knows of this man because someone stopped to talk with him. Everything you say is so true, no one is more important then the next. Some just happen to make it onto Youtube……..

    I am sure this story will be followed for quite some time.

    Hope it is a happy ending.

    • Hi Red.

      Actually I hope I didn’t come across as slagging the poor guy. I really do hope that everything works out for him, that he stays clean and does regain some measure of prosperity.

      I guess what I was ranting about was all of the other faceless people out there who are in the same situation. This guy was snapped up because of a highly marketable voice and the warm and fuzzy story that it creates. I doubt that many more are going to be saved that way, but they still have value and other abilities as human beings.

      I doubt that the problem of homelessness and poverty will be solved in my lifetime. The size of the problem is so vast and encompassing how do you tackle every aspect that leads to that?

      Just tilting at windmills I guess.

  2. TSA stopped Ted Williams from getting on his flight from Columbus to NYC. No appearance on “The Today Show” on Thursday morning. No visit to 92 year-old Mom in Brooklyn. See, he didn’t have ‘proper ID’, said the TSA. So Ted spent today at the Columbus Courthouse, trying to figure out how to get a copy of his birth certificate. Obviously he did have some form of ID, but the TSA wasn’t satisfied with it. OK – What are we going to do about this out-of-control phony security dance? These blockheads, however, are typical of our society. Follow the little rule book, and throw common sense out the window. Wrong. No little rule book takes away YOUR OBLIGATION TO THINK FOR YOURSELF. There are times you have to make an exception. That’s “the exception that proves the rule”. It’s like the traffic cop giving the mother of the little girl in a coma in Las Vegas a ‘jaywalking ticket’ – gave it to her right in the hospital. Or the policeman giving a ticket to the Dad who raced to the hospital while his wife’s water broke in the car on the way to the hospital in New Hampshire. RETRAIN EVERYBODY OR FIRE THEM.

    • Welcome eternalu.

      I think you have a very valid point there, sometimes rules do get in the way of basic common sense. I don’t necessarily think that the individuals are the root of the problem but unfortunately they have to follow through on those policies.

      It is unfortunate that security at airports has come to this, believe me I wish things were much more relaxed. I build commercial airplanes for a living. The hard fact is that when people turn aircraft into bombs new rules have to become the norm.

      I do however agree that things have gotten a little stupid enforcing those rules. Making old women strip or feeling up a cancer victim’s prosthetic breast is going too far.

      We have the right to demand a few things from our government. Safety and respect are among them. When one takes clear precedence over the other the balance must be adjusted.

      Thank you very much for stopping by, feel free to grab a cookie and mill around a bit. The cookies although metaphorical are delicious.

  3. Cool voice! There is a hidden talent in most people. Hope things are looking up for this guy now.

    • I think Mr. Williams is going to be just fine. Now at least it’s up to him to make it now that he is out of the rut he dug himself.

  4. I had seen this… somewhere but hadn’t watched the vid til I got to your page, Bob. I hope it ends well for Mr. Williams.

    That being said – I really love how you tied it to a more general theme. We do all have value. There is a great quote from a movie: “We are all angels, it’s what we do with our wings that separates us.’

    Mr. Williams is hopefully going to make good with his wings, now that he’s sober. And we shouldn’t be jealous of him, we should find our way with that, as well.

    • I am far from jealous of Mr. Williams. As I stated above I do wish him all the best in his now famous future.

      As you quite correctly gleaned the point I was trying to get to was that as humans we all have some intrinsic value. Many of us are treated like garbage by others and ourselves. All it often takes to motivate someone is a little kind word or a helping hand, just to get the process started.

      Others it takes much more, some unfortunately can never be reached or helped. But that does not mean that they loose all of their worth.

      Well maybe the odd “Douche Canoe” from your blog being the rare exception to my rule. 🙂

      • Oh, I never in a million thought YOU were jealous of him! That would just be silly! 😀 I meant other people in general taking your comments a [few more] steps further into… “well I’m special too, why am I not famous?” or something…

        I think the point about not abusing ourselves is really key here. We can’t control ANYone but ourselves – so why beat ourselves up? Be self-aware, change what you think you should, but don’t be an asshole to yourself!

        And… be nicer to other people. You never know if they need that lil boost you mention…