We’ve all seen the people with the signs “Will Work For Food”. And of course we’ve wondered if the people are seriously in need or is this how they make a living with no intention of doing any work. A few years ago I was on lunch break and had just picked up a chicken sandwich and drink at a strip mall. As I was leaving the parking lot, a man with just such a sign walked up to my car window. I said, “I have no work for you, but here’s lunch.” And I handed him the bag. Whether he was grateful for the food or angry because I hadn’t handed over cash, I’ll never know. This happened in a smaller town, not a city.
Last fall I gave a stranger the last of my cash. I’d seen him in his old pickup out and about for a couple of days. He was picking up the black walnuts under the trees. I was coming back from a walk and he was parked under the old walnut tree across the street from my house. I said good morning and he replied pleasantly enough. But he seemed lost and I asked if everything was okay. He dropped his head and laughed a little before telling me he’d run out of gas. Since we’re only a mile from the gas station I asked him if he needed a gas can to go get some. He replied that he’d not have any money until he’d sold his walnuts. I then asked if he wanted to use my cell phone to call for help. He said there was no one to call. I said sorry and went across the street and into the house.
I watched him walk up and down by his truck for a few minutes before checking my purse for money, hoping I had a five stashed away somewhere. Nope, all I had was a twenty. I took the twenty and went back across the road. I asked if he’d be offended if I gave him money. He seemed vastly relieved as he took it, assuring me he’d return it as soon as he’d sold his walnuts. I told him no, he didn’t need to do that. I believe this man had a true need. Okay, I’ve been called a fool more than once. As most of you know, I live in a tiny rural town, no city here.
When I was a much younger person I lived in a larger city and not having a car, I had to walk three miles to the grocery store. As I was leaving the store one day with my bag of food and a gallon of milk, I realized I’d left my purse on the checkout counter. Right outside the double glass doors was an enclosed entry with a bench. I am way too trusting. Since the counter was right next to the door, I set the bag and milk down, stepped inside, grabbed my purse, walked back out and voila! My goodies were gone. Five seconds tops and they were gone. I ran outside to see if I could spot the thief, but no. They were gone in a flash.
Part 2 will continue on Monday. I have disabled comments and likes on this post. Please come back and read part two. Then I’d love to hear your opinions. 🙂
Update: Now that I’ve posted part 2, I’ve reopened likes and comments here.
Photos courtesy of: