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Monday, July 22, 2013

A Second Chance for Tommy and I

By Daniel Getz, International Blogger,


This morning I happened to hear a news reporter state the following: “I once attended a funeral for a two year old.  Sometimes in life there are certain things that impact us forever.  This was one of those times.”


Such is the case of the suicide of my 20 year old friend, Brogan Guyton, who was tragically killed at the beginning of this year by throwing himself in front of one of the DART trains after contemplating it for about 4 hours prior to his final decision.


I had seen what I know now to be signs of his impending death about 3 weeks earlier when I spotted him in the West End very disheveled and obviously distraught; a sharp contrast to the energetic and optimistic young man I had casually met a month or so earlier.


When I learned of his death in the Dallas Morning News, I swore to myself at that time that I would NEVER let that happen again…at least not on MY “watch”.


So this morning when I met another young man while having breakfast that is 18 and was visibly “upbeat” despite residing in a shelter and having no job, though reasonably discouraged, I quickly realized this was a second chance for me to make a difference in a young man’s life.


What I have is nothing special.  But I do know people that know people that can mentor and help this man embrace his manhood and become a productive contributor to society.  So I am meeting him (we’ll call him “Tommy”) again tomorrow morning over coffee and we'll go from there.


I’d like to challenge you to do the same as I.  You don’t have to look very hard to spot a “Tommy” on the streets of Dallas, TX.  Use discernment because all homeless people are not as they say, and do not have the character and upbringing of “Tommy”.  However, there are many, many “Tommy’s” who are the “real deal” and desperately need someone to stop and take the time to give them a second chance.  Please try not to be blinded by the stereotypes and prejudice that is all around us.  As the “Great Gatsby” learned to do, choose to, at times, to look through “rose colored glasses.”  Perhaps you will be surprised, as I once was, to see more clearly than you have ever seen before.

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