Daily Archives: October 14, 2016

Charity both ways

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[Thursday: 3.5 miles; today: none]

I was cruising craigslist the other day, still looking at alternative old pickup trucks even after deciding that I can’t afford one right now.

Anyway, I came across an advertisement entitled “IN NEED” wherein a person, a single mom it said, was asking for a bit of help.  Food was running low and things were tight and it was unclear how it was all going to work out.

So I thought about that a bit and decided to send a reply.  I proposed to meet at the grocery store and I’d swipe my card for a few groceries.  That was agreed.  And so this evening I did just that and it all worked out fine.

These types of things are fraught with various perils in our modern world.  Probably not any more than what they were in any previous age, but we are proud and we don’t want entanglements, so it is hard both to ask for and to answer with.  I can see why some people think it is better that such things should be handled by the impersonal processes of the cold bureaucracy and government agency.

What happens if this person asking is some sort of scammer?  Or worse, lures me into some kind of danger?  What if they were to call me again at some future time and push for more?  On the other end, the asker is on the spot not only to step out and ask but to be gracious in accepting some form of assistance that is not what they wanted or really needed.

I had decided before our meeting that I really didn’t want to know what the groceries were.  It would be a bit strange if this person bought a cart load of cigarettes and beer.  But my desire to stay unentangled, shouldn’t it also extend to the other, to not leading them around like a child?

Like I say, it all turned out fine.  A pleasant looking young lady met me, she had already selected the groceries she wanted, just regular food, and we went to the checkout line and conversed a bit while things were bagged up.  Then I swiped my card and went on my way.

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Oct 14, 2016
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