New Use For Facebook: Apologizing To That Guy You Mugged Three Decades Ago

from the there's-an-app-for-that dept

If all you did was pay attention to headlines featuring everyone's favorite/most-hated social network, you would think that all Facebook was good for was being confusing about hate-speech, giving the government as much information about yourself as possible, and apparently being directly responsible for suicides. However, now that we're knee-deep in yet another holiday season, the hallmarks of which are consumer-on-consumer taser violence and having to argue with your crazy uncle over various family dinners that Barack Obama and George Bush Jr. probably aren't lizard-people from the planet Fascism here to steal our freedoms and freshly harvested apple pies, it's time that we had a nice story to warm the cockles of all our hearts.

This story of holiday cheer and goodwill towards all peoples begins auspiciously, with one man mugging another man for his bus pass on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History. That was over three decades ago, however. More recently, the mugger, a Michael Goodman, happened to come across his victim on Facebook.

"You may not remember this," Goodman wrote Soffel in the comments underneath the post, "but a long long time ago I walked up the steps of The Museum of Natural History one afternoon, trying to look like a tough guy to [somebody] & saw you standing there at the top of the steps, I walked up to you & (mugged) you for your bus pass. Finally I can say," he continued. "I"M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago, I wish it had never happened but it did."
Claude Soffel, his victim, was every single bit as gracious as Goodman was contrite, responding directly to the Facebook post.
"Michael A. Goodman, clearly your a "bigger man" today. wow. Memory is a funny thing, I recognize your name now, as well. So, apology accepted. Interestingly, I have dedicated a large portion of my life to helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be, and moments like this one continue to fuel my faith that the battle may be uphill but so rewarding. Any man who draws aline for himself, "Today I step forward for myself, my family, and humanity" is a hero to me. So let us now, jointly, put this in its proper place, behind us."
Please try to remember, in a day when you will hear a lot of noise about how people never connect any longer, never talk, or don't regard one another as human beings: technology is what you make of it. Social media can bring us together in amazing ways, as this once perp/victim combo shows us. And, damn it, be nice to one another this holiday season!



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    having to argue with your crazy uncle over various family dinners that Barack Obama and George Bush Jr. probably aren't lizard-people from the planet Fascism here to steal our freedoms and freshly harvested apple pies,

    Other than the lizard-people position (I'd lean more towards serpents myself), what is there to argue about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    OldMugwump (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Lizard people

    ...ok, maybe they are are lizard people, maybe they're not.

    But the important think is that one of those lizard people are on my side.

    I ain't sayin which one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    Similar thing happened me. Two different guys that bullied me pretty badly as a kid back in the 60's wrote to me on Facebook to apologize. No hard feelings here after nearly 50 years. I have enjoyed writing to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:41pm

    It's nice to read some good news, I wish there was more of it more often.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

    HALLELUJAH HE'S SEEN THE LIGHT! IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Way kewl!

    This is just awesome! :-) Both of these people need a great big hug from all of us!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:17pm

    Now give me your bus pass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:31pm

    Apology, even if decades late, nice...but a keyboard is never a substitute for meeting face to face to establish human contact. Technology does many wonderful things to facilitate communication, but one should not confuse electronic communication with actual person-to-person contact and communication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    In the cases I mentioned above where two guys that bullied me as a kid apologized on Facebook, One is a retired firefighter living in Memphis and the other is a minister in Ottawa KS. I would hardly expect them to drive for hours to apologize for things they did decades ago. I was glad to hear from them and they both said that they were relieved I bore no grudge. They may have been dicks when we were kids but it sounds like they have redeemed their lives. I kind of got a laugh when I reminded Dave how one time when he was picking on me I smacked him in the head with my guitar and cracked it. (The guitar, not his head!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 10:52pm

    Re:

    but a keyboard is never a substitute for meeting face to face... one should not confuse electronic communication with actual person-to-person contact and communication.

    While face to face can be nice, I've found that you can build incredibly strong bonds with people communicating online. You may just be doing it wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:53am

    Re:

    It depends on what you expect, some times there is no substitute for a keyboard, or a letter, or a book, or a phone, or morse code.

    Sometimes the human contact is not welcome, unwanted, dangerous, shameful, disrespectful and the keyboard is the bridge that allow others to overcome the barriers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    Better electronic contact than no contact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    mike andy, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 11:31am

    at-least the guy apologized, whether it was 3 years later or not....., but it still don't excuse what he did at the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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