A prodigious young entrepreneur, though from affluent circumstances, set out on his own and created a company from scratch. This startup went from modest beginnings to a multibillion-dollar venture within a matter of a few years. Not content to use his quickly growing means for his own benefit, he invested in his employees’ development, made community-building partnerships, and donated cash to good causes. In particular, he became interested in and then driven to end homelessness in the city where he lived and his company’s headquarters were located.
At the height of his success, he sold his company and retired to a beautiful mansion in an upscale neighborhood situated on the hills overlooking the city.
Not long after, on a drive through the city center one evening, the entrepreneur took notice of several homeless people huddled against an alley wall, ragged blankets over their knees, a cardboard sign sagging in one man’s hands. Their shoulders slumped as if under the weight of their struggles. All of the entrepreneur’s efforts to help everyone he could in the community had not reached these.
The entrepreneur stopped his car and nearly got out, but something told him the others would reject any help he offered. He returned home.
Over the coming days, he let the hair grow on his face. Then he borrowed a set of worn clothes. He put them on and rode his bicycle to a bus stop, from which he took a bus to the city center. After a short walk, he bought some blankets in a household store and some hamburgers and fries from a fast-food restaurant.
The homeless looked up as he approached. The entrepreneur handed out the food and blankets, but one frowned and didn’t take them. “You aren’t homeless,” came the accusation. “You aren’t like us. In spite of that beard, you have the face of a person who’s had an easy life living up on the hill.”
“Maybe you’re right about what an easy life is,” said the benefactor. “I did come down here from the hill. But I want to help you, and part of that is understanding your problems. That means spending the night here with you if you’ll let me. I want to understand.”
Surprised, his accuser accepted what he offered, and the group made a place for him among them.
Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com
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