I Wanted To Believe

September 6, 2014 at 8:48 am 10 comments

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It was like any other Friday. I took the train home early to avoid the usual crowd. I was about to doze off in my window seat when a high-pitched female voice startled me.

It was from a woman standing on the aisle with her teenage daughter. She said that they were homeless and pleading the passengers for money so she and her daughter could have a place to stay the night.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some passengers thought that she was breaking the law. But, believe it or not, panhandling for gratuitious donations is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It’s aggressive panhandling that is illegal. Even then, cops hardly enforces the law.

I looked at them and they didn’t fit the profile of homelessness, at least, from the way I imagined it to be. Yhey didn’t stand out like a sore thumb. They were neatly dressed and showed no sign of destitution. The daughter was even wearing fashionable black jeans.

In this day and age, however, looks could be deceiving. When i was laid off a few years ago and applying for unemployment benefits, a guy sitting beside me came in a Mercedes-Benz. For this reason, I thought the woman and her daughter deserved the benefit of the doubt.

Panhandling could be demeaning. It could cut deep into one’s self-pride. It could be the last resort for the truly desperate. But it could also be used to scam people as shown in the blockbuster movie, Slumdog Millionaire, where a syndicate used children to beg for profit on the streets. As a result, people are highly suspicious of pandhandlers in general making it harder for those who are really in need to get help.

When the woman said that she only had $48.62 in her purse, I took her word on it. I and a couple other commuters gave her a dollar each disregarding the dictum that there’s a sucker born every minute.

“Bless you,” she said as she took the money. In my heart, i wanted to believe it was a dollar well deserved.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , .

Unstoppable wordless wednesday: say, what’s your problem?!

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. FabricatingFiction  |  September 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Aww. That’s sweet. I always like to believe in the good too and pay it forward wherever possible. You never know when you might be in need of kindness.

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  September 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      louise:

      in my life, i’d been a recipient of kindness even from total strangers. paying it forward is really an excellent idea.

      Reply
  • 3. Amy  |  September 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Every day, I see the same people asking for money at the intersection when lights turn green, they approach each car.

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  September 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      amy:

      something is terribly wrong when panhandling becomes a habit. 😦

      Reply
  • 5. emilayskie  |  September 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    LOL at guy in Mercedes-benz. 😀 You are right. Looks can be deceiving. I can imagine that they might be really desperate that time that’s why even if they don’t look like it, they took the courage to ask for help.

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  September 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      emilayskie:

      it’s been awhile since i heard from you. hope everything’s fine in your world. anyway, looks can really be deceiving.

      Reply
  • 7. lifeconfusions  |  September 8, 2014 at 5:32 am

    At the end of the day, it is the ‘Intention’ that matters. You gave the dollar with the right intention in your heart, its worth a thousand deeds 🙂

    Reply
    • 8. plaridel  |  September 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      lifeconfusions:

      that’s one way of looking at it.

      Reply
  • 9. Dreamer on a Cloud  |  August 15, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Wonderful and inspiring. You’re a good person. 🙂

    Reply
    • 10. plaridel  |  August 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      julia:

      what a compliment. thank you. 🙂

      Reply

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