Friday, July 30, 2010

Bad Samaritan

Yesterday I almost crossed the street to avoid a small child who was selling lemonade. I didn’t actually cross the street, but I did quickly say no when he started to ask me if I would like to purchase a beverage. And then as I continued walking I started to wonder what my problem was. I probably should have given this young entrepreneur 50 cents and a boost of confidence, even though I wasn’t thirsty. Now he’s probably going to end up living in his mother’s basement for the rest of his life.

But I’d argue it’s not my fault. I blame the guy who sells StreetWise outside my neighborhood CVS, the three to four veterans asking for donations at the train station, the Greenpeace people asking me if I want to save the environment outside my office, the panhandlers asking for spare change on every corner… Everywhere I go strangers are asking me for money. I know this makes me a terrible person, but I’ve resolved to ignore them all. I know I could pick one to help out, but I’m overwhelmed by the sheer volume of requests. And I don’t like talking to strangers.

So I walk briskly and keep my head down. And if I accidentally make eye contact I immediately start shaking my head if it looks like the person is going to speak. Even if that person is a lost tourist, or a small child… So this is my defense for when I end up on one of those hidden camera shows about bad Samaritans – or in hell.


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! It kind of makes me feel bad. But not really. I'm poor. I need money. But I'm not standing on street corners, or at busy intersection stoplights begging for money. Sometimes I think this makes me a bad person to think this way. I'll be right next to you on the bus to hell.

Zip said...

The kid was going to take your .50 cents and buy booze anyway.

Stephanie Faris said... that a homeless paper? We have those here and I just ignore them. I'm not sure where the money goes. I guess if I knew it was going to a shelter and not alcohol...

Lemonade is so played out. My husband passed a nacho stand a couple of weeks ago. Two kids had set up a stand to sell nachos. Now THAT is inventive!

The Singlutionary said...

Sometimes the rest of the world and all their crap is too much to deal with. Sometimes I find myself feeling a generosity of sprit. Sometimes, I don't. The bigger the ciy, the more you have to shut out just to hear yourself think.

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