Something not many people know about me is that when I was 11 years old, I was beat up by a homeless man… Yes, that’s correct… my overweight self got kicked in the stomach by a man who I was handing a $5 bill to.
My dad and I were in Colorado for my brother’s wedding and we saw this man digging through a trash can. My dad thought it would be a kind gesture to help this man out. So he said, “Michael, run and give this to that man!” handing me a $5 bill.
So, I ran across a few street lanes during a busy afternoon in downtown Denver to reach this man. I said, “Here you go mister .. this is for you…” He looked at me and then the $5 bill … and then back at me … and said “I don’t want your damn money!” then KICKED ME in the stomach!
I freaked out, dropped the money, and ran back across this busy street hysterically crying! I figured my dad would be my hero and defend me by showing this aggressive man to not kick 11 year old boys … but instead … he .. was … LAUGHING! My father thought it was hilarious that I got beat up by a homeless man.
At first, I was angry, upset, and even disappointed that my father did nothing and laughed at my frantic experience. I said “Why arena’t you doing anything?!?” — His response stuck with me for 20 years and has been a large motivation behind PB&J for Tampa Bay.
My dad said two things:
#1 – You do not know what that guy is dealing with.
#2 – You did the right thing. As long as you know you are out to help people and do the right thing, everything else in life will fall into place
Profound lessons from dad — empathize with compassion and an open heart, and continue to do the right thing by helping others.