Compassion squared for a rounder world

Sep 6, 2003

From Brewed Fresh Daily, a Cleveland blog by George Nemeth, comes this:

Craig & Tony agreed that they wanted to do something positive about the picture – no matter how minor the effort or effect. What came from the discussion was the idea “Pay it Forward on Public Square Day”. A day when people do some positive act, perhaps as simple as giving bottled water to people passing by… business people, homeless people… anyone. No judgment. Another friend, Bill, joined the discussion, and the date, time and theme were set: Lunch time on September 17, 2003. The details had yet to be determined. But we established a date.

In college once I spent the night on Public Square with other students wanting some solidarity with Cleveland’s homeless persons. I remember it as a cold night with a few conversations with drunks. Perhaps a more meaningful experience was an overnight in the Amtrak station, where I was kickedout at 2 a.m. so the station attendant could go to ‘lunch.’ I and one other guy, a mentally ill homeless man not much older than me, went our different ways into the frigid December morning. I wandered the empty streets cold, tired and annoyed at the inhospitality of the city.

Anton Zuiker

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