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Mind Was Blown...

Posted 11-01-2008 at 11:27 PM by NoeJeko
Updated 02-18-2009 at 09:40 PM by NoeJeko
So Bob and I just got back from one of the best evenings we've ever had. Originally that was to be the subject of this blog but something happened on the way home and I just felt compelled to write about it. I'll probably post about my day tomorrow. Anyway...

So I dropped her off and went to the 7 Eleven to get some drinks before heading home (an almost nightly ritual). Nothing eventful happened and I exited the store to go home. About halfway to the car I was approached by someone.

Instantly my "beggar detector" went off and from that point on it really didn't matter what he said, my prefabricated answer was "I don't carry cash". I made the mistake of making eye contact and he approached me. He introduced himself as Darren and told me that he had just gotten out of prison. He had been in for 7 years and now he was left with nothing. Someone before had given him $2 but he had no place to stay and nothing to eat after he finished the bag of fried pork skin he was munching. I fired my prefabricated answer and expected the begging to continue...

... we stood for a moment in awkward silence. I repeated my prefab answer.

He simply smiled at me and thanked me for listening and walked away. My beggar shield was instantly shattered but I was too dumbfounded at what just transpired to say a word. I walked back to the car in shock and then replayed the conversation in my head on the way home.

After re-evaluating the conversation, he spoke very clearly and had a strong command of the English language. If anyone knows me, they know my view that the American society is getting dumber every day and that less and less people can properly communicate. He had excellent posture and he looked me in the eyes the entire time we were conversing - so he never noticed I had already pulled my Blackberry out and had 911 dialed in as I held it behind my back. There was a sincerity in his eyes that I've never seen in a beggar.

I honestly felt guilty for the lie I fed him about not having any cash. I felt compelled to turn around, apologize to him, and give him enough for a hotel stay but I knew I'd get yelled at by Bob when I get home.

Regardless of what he was - beggar or not, this event made an impact upon me. He'll probably never read this.

Darren, if you ever see this blog, I'm sorry.

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Comments

  1. Kudaranai's Avatar
    D= .
    permalink
    Posted 11-02-2008 at 08:46 PM by Kudaranai Kudaranai is offline
  2. Adun's Avatar
    This reminds me of a guy who approached me while I was working late one night last week. He was asking me to spare him a few bucks, and I did. But I didn't do it because I felt sorry for him. I really noticed the same factors that you did, Paul.

    I was being cautious initially because I was carrying a lot of money and I have the same cynical mindset towards a beggar; I thought that he might be up to something and didn't trust the guy at first... but nothing happened. He had a good posture, a clear voice, and was very friendly and polite to me. I couldn't help but spare the guy the $3 he asked for; he just wanted something to eat. I was working that night and made $100+ so giving him enough to eat was dignifying and it felt like the right thing to do...

    Maybe our opinions towards the unfortunate will change someday, you know.
    permalink
    Posted 11-03-2008 at 03:29 AM by Adun Adun is offline
  3. Mitchi's Avatar
    Back when I lived in the philippines, there were always so many poor people begging due to the poverty of the area that at our school (a catholic private school) we were always taught to have mercy on the less fortunate.

    When I hang out with my boyfriend, we get approached by random beggars about 70% of the time, mostly people asking for bus money (we tend to hang around the train station sometimes). I always make sure i carry around a few dollars in change just in case.

    I dunno, I guess it's just that I hope that if I ever end up in a situation where I need to beg for bus fare, I just hope that someone will help me out.
    permalink
    Posted 11-05-2008 at 07:05 PM by Mitchi Mitchi is offline
  4. Miyuki's Avatar
    I'm ok, if they just need bus money or something, do help them a bit.

    But, still, some of them are 'greedy', where is like in situation where you looks like you owe them money instead ._.'
    permalink
    Posted 11-05-2008 at 07:54 PM by Miyuki Miyuki is offline
  5. KawaiiSaka's Avatar
    After school once, me and my BF went on the subway to get down to Union Station to take a train back home. I didn't notice but on the cart I got on there was this beggar lady holding a bag - and by the time I did notice I couldn't get off. I sat down with my bf really anxiously because she started screaming things (literally) like "I just got out of jail" and "I have medicial conditions... I can't eat the food the hospital is giving me". She then got to the point of generally insulting and yelling people on the subway.

    She was walking towards people who were seated and asking each of them personally for change. My BF was holding like a toonie in his hand (lol) and I was kind of scared for him. She was quite the aggressive talker but good thing she passed by us. When we finally got off (the station where people usually get off the most) the beggar swore at us to get off the train.

    That was the scariest moment of my life. x_x I don't like subways anymore. My BF even said that usually he'd give change to beggars/hobos if he felt sorry for them but the way she approached it just made him not care at all. I feel that way too x_x
    permalink
    Posted 11-09-2008 at 10:22 AM by KawaiiSaka KawaiiSaka is offline
    Updated 11-09-2008 at 10:25 AM by KawaiiSaka
  6. HolyAbyssal's Avatar
    This doesn't really happen to me because of the fact that the usual times i only go out is for school/ other things, but when i was in Washington D.C. I always spared change for the lesser and unfortunate
    (doesn't live in a area with many poor people)

    ~Anton
    permalink
    Posted 11-12-2008 at 04:08 PM by HolyAbyssal HolyAbyssal is offline
  7. Sanichi's Avatar
    When I was little I wonder how I would have been like with a beggar shield...

    *Feels sorry for Darren*
    permalink
    Posted 11-23-2008 at 07:35 PM by Sanichi Sanichi is offline
  8. Sephiroth's Avatar
    I feel sorry for you Noe =[
    Deep down, you knew what to do, and you would've done so if you would have known the situation better.
    But its the fact that you knew Deep down what was right.
    Noe your a genuine person, if only we had more people like you.
    permalink
    Posted 12-28-2008 at 10:22 PM by Sephiroth Sephiroth is offline
 
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