Today I went downtown to run a bunch of errands and a friend of mine accompanied me.
While I was at a McDonald’s buying a burger, a homeless man came up to me and asked if I could by him some food. I agreed, and told him I could get him a burger. He then asked for a drink as well, so I bought a quarter-pounder combo. I have him the burger and drink cup. He asked for the bag, so I gave him that too. He asked for the fries as well, to which I said no, cause I wanted the fries, as my sole purpose of going to McDonald’s was to get a snack.
After I gave him 2/3 of that combo, he asked me for change. I gave him $2. And he asked for more. I have him another $1, and he pointed out that I had another toonie in my wallet. I reluctantly gave him that toonie as well. He then left, I don’t even remember if he said ‘thank you’ or not.
As my friend and I walked out, I felt really shitty. I didn’t feel that warmth that I should have felt from being charitable. I then realized that it was mostly because my debit card got declined twice when buying the combo. I had to pay for it in cash. After I called a friend and got some advice, I realized two things: 1. I would feel less shitty if my card had been accepted 2. The man basically stole from me as I wasn’t willing to give him any money but was too nice to say no.
You see, how can I feel good about giving others my hard earned money when I only have $100 left in my chequing account? Sure, I have over $5000 in savings, but I would never ever use they money to buy things with. This would be completely different if I didn’t have a job. I would still be asking my mom for lunch money. BUT NO, I WORK.
Do you know how unsettling and horrible it is to have to ask my mother for lunch money again?? She’ll gladly give me money, but I have gained this tiny shred of independence and I don’t wanna lose it. And being almost broke doesn’t help that “don’t want to ask mom for money” situation. AT ALL.
p.s. Apparently, this man does this to everyone, students have even complained about it on SFU Confessions.