I was walking to school in Pittsburgh once. This dude in a tan trench coat (with a Pittsburgh Steelers shirt under his coat and carrying a Steelers bag) said his wife left him downtown and needed a few bucks for a taxi. I had only one dollar in my pocket, and I gave it to him.

A month later, my whole class was walking the streets on a class tour, the same guy came up and told the same story, wearing the same clothes. Everybody in the group ignored him, except for me. I knew he was lying, but I understood it and admired his ambition.

I gave him my last in change (probably 55 cents). As the group started to walk away he yelled out to me, as the group turned to also listen, “You, one day you are going to need something, and you are going to get it.” I think he was speaking to the group as well as me, because he was not going to be ignored at that moment.

Something tells me, with his kind of ambition and dedication to getting off the street, that is is doing well today. I actually have no doubt he is. Another man I saw every day was one day laying on the street dead, he just sat there every day. I gave him money and food when I could, but he gave up a long time ago. He was a good man with a caring personality, and I believe he was a veteran.

I suppose the moral of the lesson is never accept anything life throws at you, never give in. Comfort is a state of mind.

Always be strong and always believe in yourself, because nobody else will when it comes down to the bottom line.