A few days ago, I did something that I don't ordinarily do. It's not that I don't believe in charity. I give money to charities whenever I can. I sponsor my friends in fund raising marathons/walkathons and other events. But I usually don't give money to those asking for it on the street.
A few days ago, I was passing a man who stood outside his car asking for a few bucks to buy gas. Apparently his car had run out of gas in the middle of a mall parking lot. I noticed that a few other persons ignored this man, not even stopping to let him finish his sentence. As I passed him, he told me that he only needed a dollar or so, just to get enough gas into his tank to get home. I told him that I didn't carry cash and that I was sorry. As I passed his car, I saw a baby carrier in the back seat of his car. There was an infant in it.
I turned around and gave the man some money. I told him to have a good night and to drive home safely. He smiled and said thank you, opened his trunk and searched for a gas container. When I saw that child seat in his car, something inside told me that he wasn't lying, that he had honestly broken down in the parking lot. Maybe it was the fact that he wasn't holding his child outside the car and using the child as a prop to get sympathy. The cool chill in the air may have had something to do with my sudden feeling of compassion. I don't know. And I had already felt bad for lying in the first place (telling him I had no cash).
I hope wherever they are, they had made it home, safe and sound.
If I am not mistaken, I think Lee Ann
, had written a similar post to this one about a year ago.