The other day, I’m sitting in the truck and I see an old homeless white guy slowly walking towards me. I try to avoid eye contact with him because I already know he’s coming over to beg for money. I have given change to people who begged for it plenty of times, but I’m just at that point in my life where I don’t feel the need to alleviate any guilt buy giving away money that I’ve earned.
So buddy walks up to the driver side door and I roll down the window. The violins start playing and he starts telling me how he has been living under the freeway and how cold it was that night. He did look bummy and it was around 30+ degrees that night, so I had no reason to believe he was lying. He then goes on to ask if I could spare some change so he could go buy some coffee and food from the nearby truck stop. He made sure to let me know that my donation would absolutely NOT be used for drugs or alcohol.
Again, I had no reason to believe he was lying. Initially, I considered just giving him some of the food I had on the truck. There were a few canned goods and ramen noodle packs I could’ve given him. Just in case he was lying though, I quickly changed my mind as to not waste my emergency stash on a complete stranger.
That night, I was in a decent mood, so I began feeling around in my pockets for some change. All I had on me was a single penny. This, by no means, was my last cent, but that’s immediately how it felt as I grabbed for it. Right as I took hold of it and began pulling it out of my pocket, something hit me. Suddenly, I thought, “Fuck this nigga.”
Even though this was completely internalized, it felt good to “say.” Why should I feel bad about keeping my money and turning down the opportunity for charity work? This guy was a complete stranger and I had no obligation to help him. Giving away my money so another grown man could eat wouldn’t give me any warm fuzzy feelings inside. There would be no benefit for me at all. I truly did not give a fuck about this man’s well-being; not even a little.
It actually made me proud to turn him down as I compared myself to all the pussies whom he guilt tripped out of their cash. Sure, it was only a penny, but that penny was mine. This guy was at least in his mid 40s, which means he had plenty of years to figure out how to not be homeless. Why should I have to pay for his mistakes?
When it was all said and done, I just told him I was broke and didn’t have any change on me. We all do this for some reason. We make up an excuse so we don’t seem like selfish assholes, but that wasn’t my reason this time. This time, I just wanted to let him down gently just in case he was on some psycho-I’m-going-to-kill-anyone-who-disrespects-me type of bullshit. All in all, I have no regrets. This was one of my shining moments in life.
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