By Roger Cornish
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
4:11 PM CST, January 7, 2011
Have you seen….more importantly have you HEARD, the story of the homeless panhandler with the great radio voice?
His name is Ted Williams, and he’s become an internet sensation.
After years of homelessness and substance abuse, Ted was “discovered” by a newspaper report who put him on Youtube.
Since then, because of his fantastic voice, job offers and other opportunities have rolled in.
It’s a great American story, a story of redemption and second chances.
We all love a story like that.
But at the risk of seeming harsh and judgmental, let me ask something.
I kept noticing one phrase the network reporters used in telling Ted’s story….”He fell on hard times….including drug and alcohol abuse.”
Really? Did he FALL on tough times, or did he make decisions and choices that had consequences?
I think it’s wonderful that Ted has worked his way out of those tough times, fought his way to sobriety, and is now apparently reaping good consequences.
But I can’t help think how many hundreds or thousands of young people in radio (and countless other professions) who worked hard, paid bills, raised families, and stayed away from those hard times.
It’s unlikely they will ever be “discovered” on the internet.
So I join you in celebrating the story of Ted Williams, and truly wish for his great success.
I also urge you to look around you at your place of business, family or school.
Notice the people who show up every day, and try to make responsible choices.
I’m sure Ted would agree that they deserve a big pat on the back, too.
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