Monday, July 11, 2011

what would you do?

Driving from La to Pa, of course means many stops..boy do you see the sights.  Good and bad...
Yesterday while driving the last leg of our journey home, we stopped at a rest stop and hubby went to the restroom.  I was feeding Bella on the tailgate of the truck and a young man approached.  There were plenty of people nearby and I did notice he seemed to be going from car to car.  He approached me and apologized for doing so, but he seemed very nice and safe. (I did realize later on, that this could have been a dangerous meeting, but somehow I never felt that at the time) He said he was so embarrassed...
He explained that he and his fiance had been robbed, they had his wallet and all ID in her bag with her items, he quickly spoke of a police report and contacting his dad to wire money, but they had no ID to do that.  Anyway...his words all blended together and I did feel a bit uncomfortable, half listening as Bella was unleashed and done eating...trying to keep her from barking her head off at a stranger, she never even seemed to notice him.  In the end he asked if I could do anything to help them, if not, he asked that I say a prayer for them... I knew immediately I would give him some money, I did. 
Steve came back and asked what that was about, he saw him standing by me on his way back to the truck.  I told him, he asked what I did, I told him, he said good!  He would have done the same.
Now if this man was scamming me, then shame on him.  But he seemed to be genuine and lets face it, I had the extra money to give him.  I was not going to miss the 20.00...really...and if it helped these two strangers to get to their destination, then I see this as an act of kindness.
Now the anxious part of me did think later on, we were parked a bit further out then the other cars, in the dog walking section...(there were still plenty of people close) but as I went to the back seat, and got my wallet, he easily could have grabbed the whole thing.  I was holding Bella as well and this would have been a good set up for a robbery of my own.  See my meaning?  But in the moment, I only felt compassion...and went with my heart.
So, tell me...what would YOU have done?

11 comments:

  1. Me, I've been approached like that before, several times, with the same story. I would have said no. But, we have panhandlers everywhere in Houston and we live very close to an intersection where they change as fast as the street lights. When it gets hot they bring their dogs out to hug on our heart strings. I guess since i see it every single day, I am hardened to it. I've heard it all.

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  2. I kinda feel like Linda. I can't tell you how many times I have been approached. They have panhandlers here in Grants Pass sitting on the cement between both ways of traffic asking for a hand out. Yes they bring their dogs on a hot day. Many of these people are very wealthy by doing this day in and day out. I have seen a man with a woman in a wheel chair, she had not legs sitting on a busy street corner. Now you know these people get a monthly income from welfare or disability, you can't tell me they don't, besides low income housing. It makes me mad to see this because it is a deliberate act to make you feel for them. I have been approached for gas money, my wife is pregnant and we have two little kids and we ran out of gas and we are headed to southern california, I have heard it all. One time I was coming out of a grocery store and there was a man there with a dog begging for money. I reached in my bag and pulled out a large can of dog food I bought for my dog and said here, feed your dog!!!! Of course he thanked me....Just remember....there are places to go, programs that help people like this and if there was a police report, the police usually help these people get on their way, they can not leave them high and dry. I have been stranded on the highway with hubby and the police helped us out. You probably have a nice truck, and looked like you might have some money and that is why he approached you. But....Kathy you have such a generous and trusting heart, you give so much and that is why you gave him money. It was an act of kindness on your part. Just know there are people out there like that but they have other choices too....too many programs and places to go for help, they are making money off generous hearts out there!!!

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  3. I probably would have done the same thing for the same reasons. And I would have thought about the 'what could have happened' after the fact. Whether it was the right or wrong thing to do, you did it out of kindness and we reap what we sow!

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  4. I always follow my instincts in these situations. Depending where I am, if someone says "do you have change for coffee" I'd rather offer to buy the coffee. I've been approached with stories like that one before and sometimes I don't listen to my instincts and give the money. Then I'll see the person a few days later in a similar location doing the same thing and I'm reminded...my instincts were right in the first place...should have listened. Once I was approached by a young man about my son's age. I gave him some money because I thought -- what if that was my son and he was in trouble...I'd want someone to do him a kindness. The young man was so overcome and so grateful -- I knew it had been the right thing to do.

    Sometimes we get to be angels!

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  5. I agree with Sherry. What if it was my son....I'd have done the same as you and 20.00 - it doesn't break the bank and it might make a difference. I always go with my instincts too. Although once, a young teenage girl asked me for money. I'd seen her hanging around at the back of the shop where I worked and I wasn't sure....she said she was hungry....so the following morning, she was still in the same place behind the shop, and I took her sandwiches, coffee and fruit. She said thanks. I went back to the shop and up to the staff room and looked out of the window just in time to see her throw all the items I'd given her in the bin and she and her friend were laughing....I did learn a lesson that day.

    Lovely to have you home safely Kathy.

    xx

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  6. It's cynicism that has made many of us untrusting and inclined not to help. But if you really don't know, I wouldn't feel badly for caring. Too many people have quit caring and I suppose the crooks and con artists have all of us putting up our guard. Unfortunately, the truly needy people pay the price of the unethical......where have we heard that before? Literally everywhere. It's good to know $20 didn't mean that much to you to stop you because you just weren't sure. So maybe a bum got a 6 pack off you.......worse things sure go on in this world than a con man panhandling and getting a few bucks. I mean can you imagine being in that state of lowness if he wasn't being honest......Crum, I hope no one I know ever reaches that level. If I ever got to that point I'd need lots of beer and cigs, too.

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  7. Thanks to all of you for your comments. I told Steve I blogged about this and he said, is this still bothering you? Is it? I don't think so. I really just wanted your take on it...and I am getting mixed replies, I thought that would happen. No one is right or wrong, I don't think. I have been around this much, in Ca. there were people who begged as the folks y'all describe...and sometimes I gave, sometimes not. As I said, if this man was a con, then he won...but I couldn't help thinking this could have been one of my nieces...and I would hope they would be treated with respect if they were in a similar situation. I could happen to any of us. I am comfortable with what I did...it did not break us no, and I did feel I trusted my instinct and went with my heart. All of your posts are appreciated, xo.

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  8. I would not have worried about him stealing my purse or anything. I unfortunately so no, I live downtown Orlando, lord I would be broke if I gave to everyone. Heck, you used your gut and did what you thought was right, nothing wrong with that!

    Carol

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  9. Kathy....I always give, even though sometimes it might not be the "smart" thing to do. I remember my dad used to say "give, and once the gift leaves your hands, don't ask any questions". Maybe I'm naive...maybe I'm a sucker ~ than again, maybe not!

    Love you:
    Kim

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  10. This is a really hard call for me Kathy because my heart would lean towards giving the money...however, after living in Chicago for a brief time and seeing the different varieties of pan handlers...my head would have the guard up. I look at this way, whether he was a scammer or not...you DID the right thing because it was from the heart.

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  11. I probably would have said no. I am not all that trusting, maybe living in the city has made me that way. I hope the young man was honest. You went with your gut and that usually is right.

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