Jerald was on the train heading into the office one morning, holding a nice cup of coffee that he had picked up at a local coffee shop as well as a sunny side up egg nestled snugly in a warm croissant.

A gentleman came into the car and started singing a song, the words that Jerald did not know particularly well — it was something about letting a light shine.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the person said when he had finished singing the song, “I am here to ask you for whatever you can spare to help a man get a meal and get through the day.”

“Whatever you can offer, I would really appreciate it,” he continued.

The man took off his hat and walked down the aisle of the subway, holding it out to people and accepting various monies that they offered.

When the gentleman got to Gerald, he held out his croissant, with its delicious egg waiting to be eaten — it was in a brown paper sack, or bag.

“You can have my breakfast, sir,” Jerald said as he held out his food.

“I would really appreciate money more than food,” the man said.

“You said that whatever I could spare you to get a meal — I am offering you my actual meal.”

The gentleman walked away from Jerald and did not take the sandwich, which Jerald later appreciated in full with his cup of coffee.


  1. A fun and fine story, Gordon! I love the lesson.

    I know that some successful panhandlers can make $200-300 dollars a day in begging spare change. It’s pretty amazing how well they do on the right street corner or train.

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