December 2, 2010


Some friendships are forged over time and the relationship grows stronger with the passing years. But some are born in a crisis, like the characters from the screenplay, “Thelma and Louise.”  The latter kind is what I call a supernova friendship. It begins at a point of duress and bursts into brightness. I read about one supernova friendship in the press a couple of weeks ago. 

Dave Callie was a man out of work, living on the streets and struggling with drug addiction when he found an abandoned backpack on a city bus. He left with it and later discovered it contained $3500 in cash. His first impulse was the keep the money.  He needed clothes, he needed food, and he needed shelter.  With is find, fortune seemed to be smiling on him.  

But Dave’s conscience wouldn’t leave him alone.  He knew it was wrong to keep the money and in the end his conscience won. He turned the backpack over to authorities. Within hours, the police identified the owner: a teenager who’d been saving to buy a car.  Imagine the boy’s surprise to learn his nest egg had been returned by a homeless person. He must have wondered how many times he’d sat on that same bus with Dave and never seen him. Till the moment of his loss, he and the transient lived in different worlds.    

The stranger’s action gave the teenager a new paradigm. When he met Dave, he saw not a derelict but an honest man. Perhaps that’s why the boy made another life changing decision. He volunteered to work at a homeless shelter.

As for Dave, he will stand a little taller now. He’s a role model with a responsibility to someone other than himself.

An enormous amount of light is shed when worlds collide.