Monday, November 25, 2013

A Season of Giving?

Hi and happy Monday to all! Who is ready for a 3 day week?? This girl is! I will be taking a blogging vacation beginning on Thursday so I can eat, shop, and hang with the family for a full 5 days! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend ahead of you as well!
Today I want to discuss an incident that happened to us last night. We stopped to get gas after eating dinner with my parents and a woman came up to the car window. Forrest was on the other side pumping gas so I rolled down the window to speak with her. She asked me if I had any cash and truthfully I told her I didn't. I never have cash on me, and even if I did, I would have felt uncomfortable to open my purse and wallet in front of her. She didn't look scary or anything but that situation always makes me nervous. She said she was trying to get a little gas so she could drive to Anniston, a town about 45 minutes away. That would have been the entirety of the situation, except that Forrest and I knew the lady at the pump next to us and he had been talking with her while I was speaking to the other woman. The woman came around our car and started asking our friend for money. She also told her no because she didn't have any cash. The woman told her that she needed to get to Anniston because her boyfriend had hit her and she showed her a bruise. Our friend then offered to call law enforcement or to carry her to a shelter and the woman refused and said she only needed a little cash. That would have been the end of it at that point, except another man drove up and she asked him for money. He didn't give any either and she got in her car and drove away. I was feeling really badly about the situation until the man told us that he was just at the Sonic, where she was asking customers there for money as well. Of course, the Sonic is not on the way to Anniston, and actually, she had to go away from Anniston to get from Sonic to the gas station. Anyway--the point of rambling about this is to ask you what do you do in this kind of situation? More than likely this lady was lying--she told me and our friend 2 different stories as to why she needed the money, refused going to a battered women's shelter, and apparently had been asking for cash in another location earlier that evening. Situations like these make me hesitate to help others at all. First of all, it's scary. Since I was in the locked car, sitting higher than her, I didn't feel afraid to roll down the window but if I had been in my small car I wouldn't have done that because she could have reached in. I already never loan strangers my phone, open my purse or wallet in front of them, or linger in parking lots. However, what about the person who really does need help--how do you know who they are? Maybe there was a back story as to why she needed money but she didn't want to tell us. Maybe she was embarrassed? I hate to be someone that doesn't generously help others but I also don't want to wind up on the news because I did something stupid. There is a fine line between helping others and helping yourself get hurt/mugged/robbed and I just don't know where it is, so I always err on the side of no. It's during the holidays that I really start thinking about this and feeling badly about it. What do you think? What do you do in this kind of situation? Are there any questions that you ask people to determine if they really need help?
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3 comments:

  1. I think that you and your friend did the best thing. I wouldn't have given her money. I believe if she had really been in need, even if she hadn't wanted to contact authorities, she would have taken up the offer to call somebody. We don't give money, but instead offer a good /service (food, make phone call, etc)

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  2. This happened to us a few weeks ago. Christopher offered to pay for a lady's gas with his card and she drove off. I would think if you really needed gas you would let him pay for it with his card. It is so hard to know when you need to help someone and when they are trying to score. We've always offered to buy food {and once-a bus ticket} but it is rarely accepted. And it breaks my heart for someone to be so low in their life to not see/want the help that is offered.

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  3. My parents have this rule. If they see a "person in need" with everything they own with them (like in a hiker's pack, or a grocery cart), then my parents will go into the closest convenience store and buy some water/food and give it to them. Otherwise, no.

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