An Old Story

Years ago a very rich man was traveling down the street.  At one point he saw a man in rags sitting leaning against a building.  He gave the man a couple of dollars and crossed the street to see what would happen.  How would the man use the money?

As he watched the man continue to beg, several of his friends passed by.  Each in turn either crossed the street or shuffled as far away as possible.  When his friends noticed the rich man they went a spoke to him.  Many commented on the “derelict” begging on the public street in that section of town.

A couple of weeks later the rich man invited all those friend to his home for a banquet.  After almost everyone had arrived a dirty beggar came through the door.  He bolted directly to food tabled snatching handfuls of everything he could reach.

All of the guest were shocked.  They scoffed and scorned.  Some derided the beggar for being too lazy.  Saddened and embarrassed the beggar ran from the mansion, knowing he had been made a joke of.

The topic of conversation centered around the “deadbeat” for a long time.

The rich man entered the hall to hear the excitement from his guests.  He was warmly greeted in his tuxedo, top hat, and expensive white gloves and cuff links.  He asked with a chuckle what happened to the beggar.

Everyone clamored around him explaining that they had “gotten rid of the interloper.”

Upon approaching the banquet table he took a fine china plate to serve himself.  Suddenly, he threw the plate to the floor where it shattered.  Then with no dignity at all be began to cram food into his pockets, both on the inside and outside of his tuxedo jacket.  He smeared greasy and sweet delicacies all over his expensive gloves.

His guests were astonished as he began yelling “Eat coat!  Eat Shirt.  Gouge yourself cummerbund. Here pockets feast for the night.”

When he was done he turned to his guests and whispered just loud enough to be heard in their stunned silence.

“My friends, I was here before as the beggar.  It was myself.  All that has changed is my clothing.  It MUST be that this banquet is for the cloth and not for the wearer.  You have honored my costume and neglect both mine and your own character.”

Then he waited a moment and added “please go home, but leave your topcoat and fashions here.  I wish to be among my truest friends.”

We are eager to condemn Donald J. Trump for his rough language, while ignoring the value of the man inside.  Perhaps it is time to set at bay those that would get caught up in the thick of thin things.  Maybe it is time for superficial appearance to take a backseat to substance.

That is The Way I See it.


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