Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Struggling with hunger and poverty issues - when it slaps you in the face

My body has not quite adjusted to the time change.  Even though I have a meeting tonight for work at 6:30 p.m. and I know I could've gone in a bit late, I was on my way to work at 7:30.  It is pleasant to have daylight when walking to work, but also disconcerting to have it dark on my walk home.

I chose to go for a walk today at lunch and see if I could get my new iPhone fixed.  Since purchasing it a month ago, I've had numerous dropped calls and spotty conversations.  I'm hoping that the new SIM card that they put in fixes it like they said it should.  If not, I'll have to find an Apple store.  

After getting the phone back, I needed to find a men's room.  The store manager of the ATT store said there was one in the 711 next door.  I ran over and walked to the back of the store.  I couldn't see any signs for a restroom.  As I was looking around, a little kid about 7 years old came up to me and asked if I could help him out and buy a pizza pie for him and his sister.  As I instantly said I couldn't help him, my heart broke a little.  This child could very well be hungry and trying to feed his family.  I usually trust my gut, and this time was no different.  Another man in the store (the third he asked) did buy him a pizza and a three liter bottle of coca cola.  As I saw him make the purchase, there were two little figures boxing in my brain and mocking each other.

Voice 1:"Aw, good, someone helped the kid after all.  Now he and his sister can eat and not be hungry." 

Voice 2: "Sucker…that kid just played you.  He probably spent his lunch money on a video game and now you are paying for it."  

I walked up the street to get my own lunch.  As I walked back after eating my lunch, the kid was pacing back and forth holding a pizza and the soda in front of the 7-11.  

Juxtapose that against the man reeking of alcohol who stumbled onto the bus and kept asking people for "5 bucks to feed a poor homeless man."  If I were choosing, I'd probably feed the kid before him.  In reality, only God knows which one of them needed it more, if either really needed help at all.  

I'm worried that my heart is becoming harder as I live here longer.  It sucks to have people ask for money all the time.  I'd rather give to homeless shelters and food cupboards, though, than give money directly to people.  I guess it's easier for me to let other people, people who do this every day, judge who really needs help or not, or decide not to judge and help everyone.  

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