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In 1980 I lived on Albany at Bloor and Bathurst in Toronto.

One morning just before Christmas I was having breakfast at a restaurant on the corner when Honest Ed Mirvish walked in.

I said to myself, “Here comes a rich man. No one gives him anything. When people come to him they want something. I will buy his breakfast.”

I called the waitress.

She said, “He only has a coffee.”

I said, “Give me the bill for the table,”

I heard him talking to the man with him. He said that business at HONEST ED’S, his world famous discount store, was slow.

When it came time for his bill to be paid he came to me.

“Why have you paid my bill”

I said, “I saw you come in. I said to myself, ‘Here comes a rich man. No one gives him anything. I will give him something. I will buy his breakfast.’ I added that years ago I had spoken with him and his business manager, Yale Simpson, about showing THE BIRTH OF A NATION at The Royal Alex. Nothing had come of it but I had been treated to a fine meal and given the best advice I ever received.”

Honest Ed said, “What was that”

I replied, “You said, ‘When you give something away charge a nickel.’ I learned that people get more excited over bargains than they do over gifts but after they buy the bargain they think, ‘That can’t be very good. It only cost a nickel.'”

A wonderful smile broke out on his face.

It was probably the first and only time in his life something nice had been done to him with no thought of return.

The next day ads appeared in the media for 5 cent specials at Honest Ed’s.

The ads culminated with a 5 cent Turkey for Christmas.

I had reminded him of what he knew.

Honest Ed Mirvish was and remains one of Toronto’s, one of Canada’s and one of the world’s very great human beings.

He is a person from whom I learned much.

I will never forget that wonderful smile on his face when he found out why I had bought his breakfast.

It was the look of a Jewish boy who came downstairs on Christmas morning to discover a tree and gifts.

Instead of rejecting what people different from us believe we should take the best from what others believe.

There is nothing better that we can take than to turn the other cheek, to do right to those who do us wrong.

That is what Christmas is about.-Reg Hartt, Crazy-Wisdom-Yogin.

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