By Hal Walter
It was one of those awkward encounters. A casual acquaintance threw out a random statement and it made me think.
In this case it was in a grocery store and the statement was essentially that there’s such a gap in this country, everything from homeless people “doing nothing” begging in the streets and living under bridges, all the way up to Bill Gates.
This seemed interesting to me because it is believed that a high percentage of homeless people may be autistic, and it’s also been speculated that Bill Gates may be on the spectrum.
My answer to this was that yes, we sure do have a gap and I’m not sure people at one end are doing more than people at the other. This brought a look of total surprise, and the response that “I think Bill Gates does a lot” and that he does so much philanthropy.
I said Bill Gates probably does appear to do a lot because he is wealthy enough to have people do a lot of things for him. In fact a close friend received her Masters in Library Science from Denver University through a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, though I‘m fairly certain the benefactors did not personally sign the check.
But homeless people do a lot, too – they have to scrounge for food, and yes, often alcohol and drugs, find places to sleep, worry about their safety and try to stay warm in the winter.