Jul 13, 2012

Pride came tumbling down

Remember my boastful posts on how I was the "only one" out there when it came to lending a hand to the less fortunate in NY trains and streets? Not any more! Let me explain.

Not too long ago something unique happened. In my morning rush I encountered this voice, "Can someone buy me breakfast?" No, I could not ignore that.

First someone was hungry. Next I was hungry myself, so I knew exactly what it felt like. (I was hungry because they had promised us breakfast at office that morning).

So, I stopped on my track and said, "Sure, what can I get for you?" He said, "Anything". We were right in front of a deli/donut shop. It was a breeze I thought. Give some money and move on. Unfortunately though when I fetched for cash didn't find anything! Just that morning I had switched bags and had only grabbed my cards and no cash. Alas!

What am I to do?! Can I possibly walk away? I looked at him again, he really truly seemed hungry and I couldn't excuse myself. The only way out was to go and buy the breakfast myself paying by credit card - which I did. Thankful him and relieved me went different ways.

The same evening on my return I saw a police man giving a ticket to a very pregnant beggar who was claiming she had lost her job. Since then I see her in different locations with the same hand written board.

These incidents caused a stir in me. First my pride came tumbling down! Second, I have learnt to walk past most of these pleas - just like most. When I did that I can see so many other hands reaching out; I was not the "only one" out there after all... 

11 comments:

anilkurup said...

It's often difficult to walk past. But when you don't you may be deceived too.

Amrit said...

Not easy to ignore. Not easy to help either...

KParthasarathi said...

Better to be deceived once a while that to miss out helpinng some genuine needy.You will know the regulars if you travel on the same route.

gigihawaii said...

It is sad that people have reached such a low point in their lives that they have to resort to begging. I sometimes wonder what I would do if that happened to me. I probably would go to a homeless shelter, where hot meals are served daily Well, I certainly would not live in the streets.

ashok said...

I have a policy too like you...read abt it here :)
http://ashokism.blogspot.in/2011/09/policy.html

eye in the sky said...

That was an inspiring tale. That despite a cloud of jaded populace roaming the world, someone is still out there trying to lend a hand. It may have been a ruse, but your demeanor and state of mind are a blessing. I wish I could be as kind. A little kindness, even to those who don't deserve it, makes this world a better place.

Rachna said...

You bring out the dilemma so well, NRIGirl. I have similar pangs of guilt.

Bikramjit said...

we had a woman who was doing that , but one day she got arrested for theft and in custody block it was found she was not pregnent at ALL..


Open letter to all - Bikram's

Mom with a Dot said...

Too many cheats on streets that ruin it for the genuinely needy. In India, I used to visit orphanages and gift them clothes, books, etc. for the New Year.

....Petty Witter said...

Ugh, a toughie this. Its just a shame that those not really in need choose to deceive us in this way as it makes us (or at least me) suspicious of those who are genuinely in need. Happy to provide a meal to those who are hungry I'm sad to say I will not give individuals money though I do support a charity working with those living on the streets.

R. Ramesh said...

cant make out original and duplicate beggars boss..it depends on the mood at that time..only wish people dont fake helplessness..

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