2 comments on “NOT IN MY OPINION

  1. Such the good words and story rezinate, and no we do not believe this
    man to the thief.

    • One night I was traveling and stopped in a small town in the Idaho panhandle, more
      of a bump in the road, to get a cup of coffee and a piece of pie.
      Must have been about three in the morning and nothing was stirring but a seen too much
      and done too much bleary eyed waitress who took my order.
      Being bored and eager to break the monotony as it wasn’t exactly the rush hour she began
      talking to me, it was a small diner of the greasy spoon variety with tired smoke and grease
      stained windows all around.
      I was sitting at the counter next to a window close to my truck – the only thing of real
      value I had along with me was a tool box in the bed.
      After a brief time I noticed a disheveled looking man pass slowly by looking at the tool
      box, a couple of minutes later he returned doing the same and I commented to the waitress
      he was thinking about snatching it.
      Sure enough on the next pass he made his move and took off, so I went out the door after
      him. Wasn’t much of a contest as races go, the tool box weighed about eighty pounds and
      kept banging him in the leg with every step he took. I drew up right behind him and told
      him to drop the box, advice he chose to ignore, so I kicked him in the butt and he and the
      box tumbled and rolled around.
      Tools were scattered everywhere, I thought he would come up swinging, but he showed no such
      inclination – I couldn’t help but laugh and ask why he didn’t just drop the box and make his
      getaway? He said he didn’t think of it.
      I told him to collect the tools, put them back in the box and then put the box back in the
      truck.
      The first thing he wanted to know was if I were going to call the cops, I told him if I were
      it wouldn’t make any difference if he did as I said or not, so he complied while bemoaning
      his fate and calling on Jesus to cut him a break.
      I wound up taking him into the diner and buying him breakfast, advising him that if he chose
      a life of crime he wasn’t really wasn’t cut out for it if the thought of dropping my tools and
      escaping never entered his mind. He allowed it was a valid point but didn’t see himself as a
      “real” criminal, just a person who was down and out.
      I don’t know his back story, how he wound up in the position he did, but on the return trip the
      waitress told me he was harmless, something of a local character, and generally looked down
      upon or pitied.
      That seems to be a common approach – looking down or pitying from a distance, neither of which offer a solution.
      I could have replaced the toolbox and it’s contents if need be, I wouldn’t have liked the necessity
      of having to do so, but what I wonder about is could this man replace what is missing in his life,
      if he even had the desire to do so?
      I hope so, and I hope someone enables him with the right tools to do just that.
      I relate this story not to pat myself on the back but to illustrate the importance of enabling
      children with the right tool set- something that will carry them through the ups and downs of life.

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