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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Riveting Tale

Some of you may have already been following the story of the 'Homeless Man with the Golden Voice', some of you will be bombarded by it for the first time over the next couple of days. (I believe he's going to be on with Katie Couric tonight for the Evening news).

It's truly an amazing story and, to be honest, I've been totally caught up in it since it broke.

For those of you who may not know what the heck I'm talking about, here's the video that started it all -- it went viral early yesterday morning, I believe and currently sits at just under 5 and a half million views.

In the 24 or so hours that've followed, Ted Williams' story has become an internet sensation as people from around the world rallied to help grant this man his humbled request for a "second chance". In fact, if you're interested, you can see here a very active thread on Reddit.com where thousands came out of the woodwork to discuss the video, organize and try to help Mr. Williams.

This morning he found himself on WNCI, a local radio station, where it was revealed to him that job offers from around the world were pouring in -- from guest spots on MTV to a spot on a reality show to a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers (who also offered him a house! Audio of the offer here). One man even offered to donate $15,000 to the radio station so that they could afford to hire him.

For myself, on the outside looking into this tale, what's been so amazing is that through out everything that's happened to him he's been incredibly honest and humble -- from his open admission to the drug and alcohol abuse that ruined his life, to his even more open admission that there, in the radio station he really felt the need for a drink (he laughed it off though and said he'd be going to an AA meeting right away).

He's honest about when it's becoming overwhelming, he's honest about being unsure how to digest any of it.

And yet, thanks to the power of the internet and the media, his life has been changed almost overnight.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think the reason I find it all so gripping is that we're literally watching the beginning of one man's redemption tale. One that he obviously deserves. In every video I've seen, in every audio interview I've heard, Mr. Williams has been honest and human and infinitely vulnerable.

No wonder we want him to succeed.

His life is changing before our eyes and I truly hope that he and his friends can help him stay grounded and safe in the face of this sudden success; that he might be able to continue to resist those urges and pull his life back together.

Good luck Mr. Williams!


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