About a month ago as I headed into a coffee shop – my regular Tuesday/Thursday wait spot while my daughter takes a class nearby, a man approached me asking for $1.80 to be exact. Right away he informed me he needed the money to ride the PACE bus. I asked him several questions before I handed over the money.
In retrospect I was being a jerk. I had $1.80 and it wasn’t going to inconvenience me to part with it. He wasn’t just begging like the typical person asking, “Can you spare some change?” or “Can you help the homeless?”. He was specific and didn’t follow the normal protocol and I was suspicious. His carefully rehearsed voice that told a story of needing to take the bus (why?) to see his therapist in the suburbs (why?) to get a new prescription for his medicine. It was then that I backed off on the questions and handed over the money with a smile.
Later I saw him across the street exiting a fast food place with a cup in his hand. At first I was a bit irritated. Had I just been taken advantage of? Had he just used my money to buy coffee? Did he ask another person for money? Then I told myself to let it go. It was a dollar frigging’ eighty cents.