Yesterday after my morning gym session, I was waiting to cross at a set of traffic lights on the way to my car when a guy approached me. He was young, I’m guessing his early 20’s and was smoking, looked like he’d rolled out of bed, thrown on some old track pants and a t-shirt and gone outside. He asked me if I would buy him a coffee.
Why did I say no? I was standing right outside a damn cafe and had the money. Quite often I find myself thinking I should do more for people. I can’t afford to donate heaps of money to charities but I could certainly afford a $4 coffee for someone living rough. I don’t like myself for it but I think my cynicism stems from hearing urban myths about people begging for money and making a really nice comfortable living from it and living in a nice apartment somewhere all while pretending they are homeless.
There is a couple that take turns sitting outside a store up the road from my house. They always look like they are high as hell and the woman always has her nails done and I once saw her open a purse FULL of money. Not coins, but lots of folding cash.
I hereby make a promise that if someone asks for a coffee or a sandwich I’ll do it and if I can, I will sit and chat with them and hear their story. It’s different to asking for cash to blow on cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.