Monday, October 25, 2010

Running with a theme

There is such a gross disparity between the rich and the poor, especially in the United States and, I think, especially in New York. I witnessed a good example of this yesterday.

We spent the evening on the Upper East Side. We had a great time, enjoyed wonderful company and an absolute excess of food. So much food that I saw a tray full of perfectly good cookies thrown in the garbage, and a beautiful, untouched cake that would likely suffer the same fate later in the evening.

We also saw a man on the subway named Jake. When he started talking he sounded like the kind of rough character you see on the subway often. Homeless, hungry and asking for help. But what he said surprised me, and probably everyone else on the subway car. He announced that he is the founder of the organization Hope for Hope. He carries around a bag of food - including sandwiches, yogurt, salads, etc. - and gives it to homeless people. He also takes women and children he finds on the streets and tries to get them into shelters, and takes those who are sick and helps to get them medical care. He was asking for food to add to his supplies or money to purchase more food. I bet some people thought he was lying. I believed him. And I'm willing to bet that he's homeless or close to it as well.

And there you have it. That's humanity. A human being helping other human beings, because he can. He makes no excuses for himself, he just helps. I wish I could have the evening back so that I could give that food to Jake. He is a role model for the rest of us.

Now don't tell me for a second that there's nothing that each of us can do.

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