THE WINO

There were five colleagues sitting on a park bench,
one of the five had experienced a brain injury.
All had experienced disappointment and heartache
throughout the course of their lives. There were birds
surrounding the five as they relaxed in the park. The TBI
colleague asked his friends if they recognized the noise
surrounding them. They all answered emphatically Yes, it is
chirping! The TBI colleague said No, you’re wrong, that my friends,
is the beautiful sound of singing. A mother and child walked by, hand
in hand, talking to each other non-stop. The TBI colleague asked his
friends Do you recognize the noise surrounding you? Again they
answered emphatically Yes, that is incessant chattering. The TBI
colleague said No, you are wrong again, that is the beautiful sound
of communication. As they sat a little while longer on the bench
a wino came by asking for money. The TBI colleague refused to
give the wino money. The other four colleagues reached into their
pockets and gave the man all their spare change. The TBI colleague
asked his friends what they saw when they encountered the wino?
The friends unanimously agreed that they had seen poverty. The
TBI colleague, said No, that was not poverty that they had seen,
that was self-pity. The four colleagues were outraged at their TBI
friends reaction. The TBI colleague gently gazed into the eyes of
his friends, and said This world can be very harsh, it can be full of
heart-wrenching disappointments and it can take a tremendous toll.
But if everyone gave into self-pity, the world would be full of nothing
but winos. There would be no food, there would be no shelter, there
would be no medical care, there would be nothing but people drinking
wine and wishing their lives had turned out differently. You just enabled
that man to spend another worthless day in his life. Then what will
happen when the wine runs out?

by: Debbie M. Wilson
4-13-96

Read more of Debbie M. Wilson’s poetry at Debbie’s Place

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