Yesterday a gentleman stopped by my office to see if I could help him. He was really honest about his needs and his prefernces. While sleeping on the streets someone shaved his legs and cut his shoes and now he needed a new pair of shoes. He told me that he only wore Nike. At that I was ready to send him on his way but he said he saw some Nikes on sale at Big 5 for $25. Okay, I thought. For $25 I can help get this guy a pair of Nikes.
After searching and being rude to the sales people he decided that they no longer had any on sale. He didn’t ask for a more expensive pair. In fact, he looked at the price tag and sneered. When we got back to my office he asked if I would take him to Sport’s Authority and see if they had any Nikes on sale. I offered to take hime back to Big 5 and buy him a pair of Adidas or Diadora (they were only $20). He declined and said, “I’m kinda of loyal to Nike. I guess I just like what they do for me.” With that he was on his way to L.A.
Should I have taken him to Sport’s Authority? I don’t think so. At some point we have to help people live in reality. His reality was that he needed some shoes and Adidas would have worked just as well as Nike.