Sunday, 7 July 2013

Who gives

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Today I wanted eggs on toast, I really wanted those poached eggs on a crusty loaf. The fact Crazy was up for crusty bread after not eating for a few days also sealed the deal.

So off I went, got my spinach and a mushroom and a few other bits, off to get my big crusty loaf of sourdough. I even snuck a cheeky macaron as I was walking back to the car laden down with my bags of yumminess.

On the corner where I was walking an older lady was sitting on the ground, sitting on her bag, up against the wall. Legs against her chest to keep warm. She asked me for a few dollars.

I did the “sorry I don’t have any”, the automatic reaction in the automatic pose, head down, walking briskly, quickly feeling shame rise through me.

Ashamed because in the next 5 seconds a million thoughts rushed through my head. I doubt she could understand what I said because I had a mouth full of over priced biscuit. OK so I only had $30 flash cash until payday but the thing was I have a pay day, does she? I wanted eggs on toast so I just spent $20 without thinking to get my ingredients because it is what I wanted right then. Could she? I might bargain shop but I present well, was I just another white middle class tosser who doesn’t give a shit? That’s how I must have looked.

No - that is not who I am or who I want to be.

I went back and gave her all the gold I had, I don’t care what she does with it, that is not my right to give on condition.

Reality is that I cannot give money to everyone that asks, but I can think before I react. I gave, but I know I acted like an arse, but I hope it meant something to someone.

This is my charity of choice - Berry Street works hard to look after children, to ensure they are safe from harm and given the choices, rights and opportunities that all children should have.

4 comments:

  1. Good for you. I try to do the same. I especially loved this part

    "I went back and gave her all the gold I had, I don’t care what she does with it, that is not my right to give on condition."

    I try to explain it to people who say "well what if they buy drugs/alcohol with it?". It is my choice to give money, sometimes I can, mostly I can't. What they do with it is their own business.

    thank you for being awesome (as someone who relied on the charity of others when I was 15 and homeless it means a lot).

    Enjoy your eggs. It is also perfectly ok for you to buy what you want with your money. Including macarons.

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  2. thanks love - everyone has rights and we shouldn't forget it or try and impose our own thoughts, beliefs (arg, take that soap box away ;)) x

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  3. I usually ask if the person is hungry or needs a drink, happily paid for a toasted sanger and a milkshake for someone the other day as that is what she needed at that particular time - didn't ask me for money but to help her get something to eat. Reality is that the divide between the haves and have nots is getting larger and there are more people that need just a goldie which is a sad fact. Amazeballs work that Berry St does. me x

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    1. thanks for commenting lovely, totally agree that the divide is racing quickly apart, we just have to do what we can do xx

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