Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To give or not to give...

Yesterday I was approached by a bloke who was looking for some small change for a train ticket (so I'm told). As I listened to his story I had a look at what change I had on me, and though it seemed that I had only a coin left, I think I must have already made up my mind 'cause I just gave it to him... After which he gave me some kind words and briefly told me about how someone he'd asked earlier simply locked their car door when they saw him...

He departed towards the direction of the train station and I was satisfied that I'd been able to help. Yet as he was leaving I couldn't help notice the looks that I was given by the bystanders around me. I felt a feeling of dissatisfaction and even disgust from them, like I had done something wrong (perhaps fueling these requests? - esp. if they weren't genuine...). The look they gave was enough to make me question the integrity of the individual seeking the small change, and for a second I felt like a sucker...

Even so, I know I did do a quick assessment of the integrity of the seeker. But perhaps it was seeing the look in his eyes that made me determine that I should help - regardless of whether his story was true or not. I think I'm happy that at least from the way he departed that I was given a feeling that he was truly genuine. As rather than continuing asking around as the not-so-genuine often can do (you know those who continue seeking even after receiving small change already), he was satisfied and had enough to be on his way, and this kept my mind reassured and I'm happy to leave it at that...as I'd like to know that if this happens to anyone in a tight situation that there is people around who can help. I guess, as always (and I'm sure you do also) I will judge it by ear...

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