We’ve all seen the video online of Ted Williams, who was most recently a homeless man in the Columbus, Ohio area. He was a former radio announcer that had his life crash down around his feet when he let drugs and alcohol into his life. The story has a terrific turn as people have stepped up to give him a second chance at life in the business.
We can learn a lot from the story itself in the form of what not to do with your life. We can also learn that we need to treat each other with respect just simply because any one of us could end up just like the man with the golden pipes. I say there is that and more to learn from this and it’s a heartwarming lesson in the way that the American people will pour out in support of this type of person who simply needed a second chance at life.
Let’s notice not only the big things we have heard about like the offer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who offered to have Ted be their voice guy and they even offered to take care of a mortgage for him so he had a place to live. Notice people like those at Kraft, who decided that Ted was just who they needed to be the voice of Macaroni and Cheese. Notice the many other job offers that he has received that are just too numerous to even catalog here.
I think the lesson here points to what the American people do, not what the American government can do. Government was not the source of salvation for Mr. Williams. Government had him on the streets. Government had no answer for a second chance that he so desired. Who had the answer? People, regular people that heard about him and knew they could make a small difference in his life. Average people were the answer to his problems. It makes you wonder what we could do if we actually applied ourselves to helping those in need of a second chance, much like Ted Williams was.
Make no mistake, Mr. Williams is not a perfect man. He has a history of drug abuse and theft and fraud charges that he said came as a result of trying to pay for that drug habit. The thing that stands out about him is that he cleaned himself up. He set himself apart because of what he can do with that golden voice and while records are coming out that he has a relationship with police, he also has a story that we can point to as someone needing a chance that we can provide for him.
I wonder, how many more Ted Williams’ are there among the ranks of the homeless and how can we as Americans show our greatness by helping them up? We need to honestly remember that people are the same whether they panhandle or drive a BMW. We all need a second chance.