My friend, Wilfred Kent, tells about a time back in the 1940s, when he was a boy in a small town in western Canada. There was an eccentric man who lived there (many towns have them), named Waldo. Waldo lived in an old abandoned car at the auto junk yard on the edge of town. He would come into town each day, pushing a shopping cart filled with all kinds of stuff. They affectionately called him “the Weatherman” because he always wore a long, black, fur-lined overcoat. Winter or summer, he never took it off.
The people in the town looked after Waldo as best they could. He was kind of a loner, but every day at the local restaurant, they saw to it that he could get a decent meal. They helped him out in other small ways, but he didn’t seem to need much.
One day after a severe snow storm and temperatures that dipped far below zero, Waldo didn’t show up as usual at the restaurant in town. People worried because of the bitterly low temperatures and sent out a search party to the junk yard. There they found Waldo’s cold body in his abandoned car.
They couldn’t do anything more for Waldo, so they decided to give him a decent funeral. The undertaker picked up his body and began preparing for the funeral. But when he took off Waldo’s coat, he felt something stuffed inside the lining of the coat. He opened the coat up, and found nearly $100,000 hidden pinned inside the lining of the coat!
Waldo had the potential to live in a fine home, and yet he chose to live in the dump. Waldo could have rented a motel room for that really cold night, but he chose to chance the open air. Waldo could have chosen life, but he chose death. Each one of us has a choice. We have the potential to do whatever we choose—we must just choose to use it.
[Submitted by Richard Doebler]