I am soooo happy 🙂
Couple of days ago I was minding my own business, finishing some errands.
And a girl walks up to me and says „excuse me“
I go „yeeees?“
And she goes „thank you“.
Strange, I think. Why would she thank me for agreeing to listen to her?
And I can see that it is not simple for her, it must be something not like „what’s the time?“, or „do you know where that and that street is?“.
„My car broke down in the middle of the street“, she continues. „I had to push it off the street myself“. Maybe she actually said „I ran out of fuel in the middle of the street“. She is smoking a cigarette. I think to myself, poor her, it has really disturbed her. She is probably going to ask for money, but hey – as long as she does not make me push the car, I’m fine with that, hahaha.
And then she asks for money, I can’t remember how exactly she formulated it. Was it „would you“ ,or „could you“, or what. In an instant, I make a decision – I will give her some money. I don’t care, she could be a crook, this could be her scheme, she could be the worst person on the planet, I don’t care. It’s all up to us. We choose to believe or not to, at least on some level. I strongly believe that, sort of.
And I say to myself, it does not matter if she is a crook; there is a possibility that she is, and there is a possibility that she isn’t. There are people in situations so ugly and desperate that they have to do this, ask people they’ve never seen before for money. It’s not like she is the first to do it. Try to imagine it – it seems very difficult. To sort of forget everything you’ve been taught in life, that being poor is terrible shame, that you should hide it, never show it to anybody. To go beyond that, and ask a stranger for money. Go ahead and try it, you’ll see that it is almost as if you had to hurt yourself physically.
And of course, there are people who want to take money from you, in dishonest way, yes, there are those people as well.
But I choose to give her money.
I ask „well how much is the fuel“.
She says „it is 160 per liter, and minimum is 3 liters at a nearby station“.
I reach for my wallet, and give her 500.
„I will give you all my data, my name, my address, my ID card number. Tell me how to find you, to give the money back to you“.
I go „no need“, and walk away.
Then, of course, I start thinking.
What if she really tricked me. I must be really stupid. „Guess I must be dumb.“ I cannot tell it to anyone, I am soooo ashamed. But I did it out of best intention, what if she was really in trouble? But please, her story is sooooo shallow, like it’s so difficult you run out of fuel and that you do not have any money in your pocket, c’mon, these days it happens all the time, even to the best of us. And she made such a drama out of it, like her story was „oooo, I’m dying“. But then again, maybe it was genuine, she overreacted because it has never happened to her before, you know – it’s always stressful if something bad happens to you for the first time. I mean, she even pushed the car herself, give her a break. And on and on, in that whirlpool, I sink deeper and deeper in the state of self-loathing and despise. And why? Because I wanted to do something good. Something is really wrong with this world.
And today, I go out from work to buy me some lunch, and I hear „excuse me“, and I see a familiar face.
And my face turns into a big smile, all over my head 🙂
You see, if I never saw her again, doing the same thing, I would be wondering.
And now I am sure.
Oh yes, she is.
But it doesn’t hurt.
In fact, it is liberating.