“I don’t want your money, but . . . “ That’s how our brief encounter began. I wrote about it (and giving) two and a half years ago.
When is giving good?
A few months ago, a friend posted about the same woman. She had seen her at several stores, hustling for groceries. It was a scam, a hustle for pricey items that she probably resold. Don’t give to her!
I had already given. Chicken, potatoes, bananas . . . What I gave was the opposite of high-ticket, but after my friend’s post I spent the next few months tumbling questions:
- Did I make a mistake?
- Was giving to her a bright spot in my human interaction or was it a bad (foolish!) decision?
- Knowing what I know now, would I have still do the same?
No. Not sure. And absolutely yes.
Here’s the thing. She wanted chicken. The cheaper potatoes. Bananas. Bread. And (maybe I’m imagining this) validation.
She’s a human being making her way through a life. It doesn’t match mine and probably not any else who is reading my post, but she’s doing what she can with the circumstances she was given.
Who am I to judge?
I don’t and wouldn’t judge you for walking past her or blatantly turning her down. I get it. I often don’t feel comfortable giving. But I won’t judge her for asking for the chicken and sides.
If we’re all subjects in a massive human experiment, a test to deteremine what “humanity” is, I’d rather err on the side of a little foolish and warm-hearted than cold and clinging to my dollar bills.
I stand by my initial decision and expenditure. But mostly I stand by my initial biological feedback. It felt good.
©Copyright Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved, 2017.
Last week while putting groceries into my car, a well dressed young woman said, “I hate to bother you but I need some money to get gas in my car so I can go to work.” Funnily enough just moments earlier I had a premonition to put my purse into the car instead of leaving it in the grocery cart while I was unloading. I had to go with my gut and said, “Sorry, I only have debit.” That was true and I was glad.
I’ve been there too, Carol. It’s not always comfortable to give.