Did Chris Gardner beat homelessness because of his talent or because of luck? The man whose story inspired the movie The Pursuit of Happyness is now being used as an example for other homeless people, who have been invited to see the movie for free in Washington, D.C., Chattanooga, TN, and possibly other cities throughout the country. Gardner, who is played in the film by Oscar nominee Will Smith, was even quoted as saying that the homeless should know that he didn't do anything that they can't do.

There are a lot of people, however, who disagree with the homeless being assured such false hope. Regardless of whether or not Gardner got lucky, he is also presumably more intelligent, talented and sane than a lot of others out on the streets. In some way, the idea of politicians showing a feel-good movie to the homeless as a sort of how-to guide seems like an easy way out of dealing with an important issue. Will the mayor of Washington now attempt to claim the people no longer have a reason to be homeless? And how many of those inspired by Gardner's story would have the opportunity to go and work at Gardner's firm?

I guess I should give the next panhandler I see on the subway a movie ticket, huh?