The Blind Man and the Panhandler–A lesson I learned

Brotherly loveI recently wrote an article published on about something I saw downtown last week.  It reminded me about how important it is to be aware of the people around us and help them if they are in need.

I also learned another lesson after publishing the article.  It seems by the mass amount of hate mail I received that the blind community wasn’t happy with the way I portrayed the blind man (his name is Quinn) as a helpless person.

What I didn’t know when I witnessed the incident was that Quinn was stepping off the curb to gauge where he was on the sidewalk.  I was always under the impression that the blind and visually impaired were very good at navigating the world in total independence.  That’s why I was surprised at the whole scene I witnessed.

Quinn (and many others) contacted be2013-07-31 17.08.22 after the article was published to let me know that he was never in any danger and explained what I saw.  It really helped me make sense of the whole thing and I am relieved that there was only perceived danger and not any ACTUAL danger.

Despite not liking the way I portrayed him, Quinn DID like the message of the article.  He was touched that someone would reach out and help him (whether he needed it or not).

He also mentioned that after he read the article a few times he realized the article wasn’t actually about him. It was more about the Panhandler who reached out to him when it seemed he needed help.  He really got behind the real message intended by the article; the idea that we’re all a little too busy to notice when were needed sometimes.  So that’s why I’m sharing it here today despite the mass amounts of hate mail I received over it.


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