Ted Williams - the man the media refers to as "the homeless guy" with the golden voice. Like everyone else, I was captivated by the heartwarming story of this fragile human being who had visibly suffered much and was seeking a better life for himself. But when I saw his image oozing forth from every media orifice, I became worried that change was coming too quickly and the avalanche of job offers, demands for public appearances and media attention would suffocate him.
True to human form we thrust him on a pedestal, touting his virtues to satisfy our hunger for a fairy tale, feel good story. Then ADDICTION, his insidious disease, his closest companion, made a public appearance of its own. Media outlets buzzed with the compelling follow up story, trying to mask the obvious delight at the story that keeps on giving - and the methodical tear down began. It's what we do; build them up so we can tear them down.
I am saddened by the obvious lack of compassion and caring for this troubled man. Sure the job offers came pouring in - and what would seem like random acts of kindness were probably more like opportunists cashing in on a great story. Who was worried about Ted's sobriety? His bewildered eyes told the story -- he was clearly overwhelmed. Anyone who knows anything about addiction understands that it is a demon that will be fought one day at a time, for always. Addiction is a lifelong affliction and he needs more than a fancy haircut, clothing makeover and limo rides -- he needs treatment and support. I heard that Dr. Phil reached out to him and convinced him to go to rehab. Of course all of this after he taped three interviews with him. No free ride here ... cha-ching.
My heart goes out to Ted Williams and his family. Addiction is a roller coaster and it is apparent that it is a ride that they have taken many times before. I wish him the strength and resolve that he will need to sustain himself through his treatment, that he may emerge in recovery and finally start living the life he was meant to live.