Am sitting in the corner table at Cosi. Had to clean the whole thing off, because the four teens sitting here before I arrived left a stinking mess.
Whenever I come here, I’m always dazzled by the lack of manners and decency possessed by many of the younger customers. They leave crap e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, as if it’ll magically evaporate as soon as they leave. The inevitableâ€”and heartbreakingâ€”aftermath is that some guy working his ass off for $6.50 an hour has to wipe up the mess. It’s depressing, unfair and speaks to the class-money-social status divide in this country.
The other day I took my kids to the city for dinner and the Macy’s balloon blowing. There was a homeless guy on the train, asking for food or money. He was hard to look atâ€”dressed in tatters, dirty, mangy. It was sad. I took my daughter’s snack bag from my backpack. It was filled with granola bars and Goldfish crackers and the like. When the man came by, I gave it to himâ€”making sure Casey saw. She later asked me, “Why did you do that?” To which I replied, “Because that’s how you should treat people.” I’m not always so decentâ€”I’ve certainly walked past my fair share of homeless individuals without offering so much as a glance. But the wife and I really want our kids to grow up not merely happy and healthy, but with a sense of compassion; of empathy.
Empathy means helping out a homeless dude.
But it also means cleaning up your shit …