He didn’t die a hero or a victim. He just died when his heart gave out in the alley behind his store, following the afternoon bread delivery.
“‘You’re going to give yourself a heart attack.’ That’s what I was going to say,” Parker recalled this week.
Parker was poor and depressed when he met Ha 14 years ago. He was living in a shelter and barely surviving. Ha gave him streetcar tokens and the daily dose of dignity Parker needed to get back on his feet.
Depression is toxic - it eats at a person's soul, but can also make them particularly uncomfortable to be around. Many of the "energy vampires" out there battle with depression or anxiety, which absolutely can be contagious.
We're taught and encouraged to avoid people who are a drain on us (at the same time we're told this mental health thing has to be addressed). Ha didn't follow this advice and, through persistence, patience and positive reinforcement, helped a vampire become a contributer.
If that's not an act of heroism, I don't know what is.