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    Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | Awesome Customers, Top, Transportation

    (I am taking the local subway home after work. Most of the subway customers/passengers are dressed as typical office workers except for one man across from me, who is very shabby looking—dirty patch-work clothes, hair dirty and scraggly, beard wild and unkempt—and has a large, filthy shopping bag full of what looks like all of his worldly possessions, including blankets, dirty yellow pillows and an old desk lamp. Everybody on the train is deliberately trying to look away from him, save one well-dressed man. As the train moves through the stations, the well-dressed man switches seats to be closer to the old man and strikes up a conversation.)

    Well-Dressed Young Man: *amiably and loudly* “What a fine day it is today! How are you today, sir?”

    Ragged-Looking Old Man: *just as amiably and loudly* “I’m doing great, just great. Hope you are, too! Got a lot to do, not enough hours in the day to get it done!”

    Young Man: “That’s what I thought. You look like a respectable, busy kind of guy! Like the kind of guy who has some good business going on!”

    Old Man: “Why, yeah I am! I’m a bid’ness man! Got some projects I’m takin’ care of! I’m sorry I ain’t at my best. I left my bud’ness suit at home, you see! But I’m still out here takin’ care of m’projects!”

    Young Man: “Yes, like I said, I’ve got a keen eye for the entrepreneurial types, and you seem the kind of guy who has a lot of good business going on! And I think you’d make a wise investment!”

    (By now, I’m openly watching these two talk like they’re a couple of old business partners. The rest of the train, though still trying not to be obvious, is stealing glances, and everybody’s stopped what they were doing so they can hear.)

    Young Man: *still amiably* “I think I’d like to help fund one of your projects! Would $60 be enough to start?”

    Old Man: *also still amiably* “Why, yeah sir, it would! I thin’ I can put the money to proper use in m’projects! Thank yah for your help!”

    (The young man pulls out and hands $60 in cash to the old man.)

    Young Man: “Pleasure doing business! By the way, it looks like you’ve misplaced your jacket.”

    (It is winter, and the old man only has a shirt on.)

    Old Man: “Yeah, like I said, it’s at home with my business suit.” *laughs* “Like I say, you caught me when I was just going out to look around and do some shopping.” *holds up bag*

    Young Man: *chuckles* “Yeah, I’m going to do some shopping when I get home, myself. Well, I wouldn’t want the man who’s project I’m funding to get sick before he has a chance to make use of my investment! That’s bad business! Here, you can borrow my jacket until you can get home to get yours.”

    (The young man takes off his suit jacket—easily worth $200—and hands it to the old man.)

    Old Man: “Thank ya’ again, sir! And again, I’ll put that money to good use, don’t you worry!”

    Young Man: “I’m sure you will, and I’m looking forward to the results! A pleasure doing business, and have a good day.”

    (The old man gets off at the next stop. The young man’s stop and mine were the same, and as he rushed off to get out of the cold and home, I ran to catch up. As we walked, I told him that I’ve never seen anyone do anything like that before, and that he’s shown me the true path of generosity. I’ve not seen either of them since, but after that day, I’ve made sure that no matter how bad times get for me, I always reserve at least $50 and a few volunteer hours for charity a month, and a little bit of extra cash on hand for those I come across who need it most!)