Just A Chocolate Donut With Sprinkles

Audio Blog, 2:31

My good friend, Frank Cornely, sent me an interesting text today.  It made me feel good about humanity because of Frank’s kindness, and the recipient’s reaction.

“I saw a homeless guy at Dunkin Donuts today. I waved him over, and told the cashier to get him whatever he wants…but all he wanted was a chocolate donut with sprinkles.

I gave him the option of coffee, sandwiches, or anything he wanted. He insisted, just a chocolate donut with sprinkles.

I offered a 3rd time, and again, I got the same response.

So, I looked at the cashier and said, “A chocolate donut with sprinkles for this guy”.

Cornely reminded me that when we previously worked together, I had an expression about customer service:  If a man comes in your store and wants to buy a blue suit, then you show him a blue suit.

This man knew exactly what he wanted, and did not care for, or respond to, additional offers.

Our natural expectation is that someone who has fallen on hard times, in this case homelessness, would want to exploit the generous offer with greed.   Of course, we understand that this type of greed may literally be necessary for his survival.  However, this was not the case.

I asked Cornely what he took away from this story.  “When you’re trying to help someone that knows what they want or need, you will almost always have the greatest impact by trying to serve just that need. Whether you’re doing a business transaction or lending a helping hand, stick specifically to what they tell you they need, even if you think it should be different.”


No matter the endeavor, we should listen closely to the needs clearly expressed by the other person, and then decide if we are willing and able to help.

Cornely ended the text…”If a man wants a blue suit, you sell him a blue suit, or in this case, a chocolate donut with sprinkles.”

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!


3 thoughts on “Just A Chocolate Donut With Sprinkles

  1. Good advice and reflection.Too often In our attempt to assist we can force what we think is better for others rather than heeding to their specific need at that point in time.merry Christmas, .
    Looking forward to more articles in the New Year.

  2. Simple thought process but must of the time people over do it.

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