My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Brother, can you spare a dime?

The other morning I was at a convenience store getting a really big diet coke before heading into the office. As I was getting into the car I was approached by a fellow who began with the usual spiel:

"Hey man, sorry to bother you, I'm stuck here, my wife is over in the car over there..."

I shook my head. "Sorry man, can't do it."

As I closed the door he said "I just wanted to borrow your cell phone man. God bless you." And he walked away.

Am I a bad person?

Just a couple days before I gave a couple dollars to a homeless woman at an intersection. And the last time I was in Montgomery I gave a couple of bucks to another guy who approached me at a gas station. I can't do that stuff when Mrs. Fabulous is in the car. And that's all I can say about that (boy, this would be a great time to tell The Dog Story).

I don't have rules about it. It depends on my mood, I guess. I can't give money to everybody.
I'm not unsympathetic in most cases, but I have to live my life.

We give every year to the March of Dimes, The Ronald McDonald House, and the Nature Conservancy. We support the Sheriff's Boy's Ranch.

Gotta draw the line somewhere.


Blogger Trinette said...

It's a tough call to make.
I might give a buck or two to the guy on the corner if I have it on me, because I know where my next meals coming from, and maybe he really doesn't.

Hubby usually has a different opinion, and thinks the guy is just working hard at not working. (Although he probably would have let the guy use the cell phone.)

Kind of a moot point anyway...the more I use my debit card, the less cash I have on me to give to anyone.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

This IS a hard call, in every country, I assume. In Ireland, parents use their kids to beg for money because we're more sympathetic to kids, I guess. But it all goes to support their habit(s).

Here in Atlanta we often see the "I won't lie--I need a beer" signs. You almost want to help out because of their honesty.

Hard to know when we're just enabling people in their status-quo situations that they have no intention of changing. But then, who are we to judge! So, yes, you kinda have to go with your gut, situation by situation...and let the Universe take care of the rest.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Trinette and Ginnie--Yeah, I guess it's a question that can't really be answered. I assume there are people who never give, people who always give, and the majority of us fall who somewhere in the middle.

2:15 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

It's a tough one alright because in the case of the people who are genuinely down on their luck you think, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." But how do you tell them from the con artists? I guess hitting the happy medium of giving sometimes is the best we can do.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Esereth said...

If I needed your cell phone, I'd start out, "Excuse me, I'm broke down, can I borrow your cell phone?" all in one breath.

And if before I could finish the guy stopped me thinking I was a beggar, I'd say, "Oh no, I'm sorry. I'm not begging. Can I use your cell phone?"

But if I WERE a begger, that would be a great last line to sort of twist the knife with.

But that wasn't your point.

You are not bad. Never think of yourself under obligation to give to everyone who needs. Where would it end?

Follow your gut.

Goodness I prattle.

12:06 AM  
Blogger T said...

I know what you mean... you give to the charities that you choose too for a reason. There are so many avenues that can be taken to recieve help, and so many scam artists that ruin genuine kindness for those who are is such desperate need. At the end of the day I guess all we can do is what feels "right."

As for the cell phone thing- the jaded side of me says he would have probably snatched it and ran. If he needed to make a call he could have asked you to make the call for him vs. asking you to hand over the phone. So don't feel badly.

Happy Valentines day doll.. Mrs. Fab is a very lucky woman!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Dawn--Yes, I would agre with that.

Esereth--Thnaks for stopping by! That's what I was thinking too, that if I had given him encouragement it owuld have been a plea for money and when he saw it wouldn't work, he tossed out the line about the phone

T--That crossed my mind too. And it's a rather expensive company cell phone. I wouldn't want to have to explain that one to my boss!

4:59 AM  

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