No. 856



It has been said that we should keep our words soft and sweet because we never know which ones we will have to eat. To be sure, words are powerful. They can lift the spirits of a downcast human being to the heights of the tallest mountain, or they can crush the very life out of a person, much like a smoker who drops a cigarette butt to the pavement and extinguishes it with his heel. What brought these thoughts to mind was a short one-minute video clip a friend sent me in an e-mail a few days ago.
It began with a blind man sitting on the bottom step of a large building on the sidewalk of a very busy street. He had a soft blanket in front of him with a tin cup and a hand-lettered sign that read, “I am blind. Can you help me?” As the throng of people passed by, occasionally someone would throw a coin or two at the cup, usually missing, but landing on the soft blanket, whereupon the blind man would move his hand across the blanket slowly until he found it, and he would then place it in the cup.
Shortly, a well dressed lady stopped in front of him. As she stood there for a moment, he touched her shoes to identify her, and she then took his hand-lettered sign and moved on, without placing any money in his cup. She returned shortly with the sign and placed it where it had formerly been. She had taken his sign and changed the wording. Now, as people passed by, many would place numerous coins in his cup or on the blanket near him where they were easy to find. Soon, she came back and once more stood in front of him. He reached out and touched her shoes again and recognized her as the same person who had been there before.
The blind man said, “What does my sign say now?” She said, “It’s a beautiful day but I can’t see it.” Yes, words are powerful, and as this simple illustration points out, they can make all the difference in the world. Since I am a member of our local Lions Club, a part of the 44,000 clubs in more than 200 countries in Lions International, I would be remiss if I did not stress the importance of helping the blind, which is our primary objective. Like the poor blind man in the video clip, we also raise money to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
In February 2012, we had a great fundraiser that is worthy to tell you about. In your community, assuming you have service organizations, you may want to do something similar. We recruited two legendary coaches and a former member of the Arkansas Razorback basketball team to coach our local team called the Toad Suck Lions. Our Lions team was made up of former players -- including three All-Americans -- to play the internationally famous Harlem Ambassadors in a benefit basketball game. The game was played at the Hendrix College Wellness Center, a $20 million facility. We had a great time for a great cause.
For my local readers, we hope to make this an annual event, and I want to encourage everyone in our community to attend future games and get involved to help the blind and visually impaired. When I thought about that poor blind man sitting on a step begging, I was reminded of a great organization we support called World Services for the Blind. This facility is located in Little Rock, Ark., and people come to WSB from all across the United States and several foreign countries to receive training to get and hold a job. WSB also helps to place those they have trained in gainful employment.
This is God’s work as He tells us to help the blind, the widows and the orphans.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)