imaginary conversation with beggar in wheelchair


There’s a guy in a wheelchair who hangs out in front of New Seasons, begging for a living. He’s there every day, and I think things may be going better for him. He has new glasses and he’s pretty cleaned up and generally looking healthier than before and he has a little dog now. It’s a really cute little dog.

Every time I go there, he asks me for money on my way out. It’s really bumming me out. The thing is, I don’t give money to individuals begging on the streets. I just don’t do it. I don’t think it’s helpful, and I choose to give to my church and to IOCC, an Orthodox charity which happens to have a very high rating in terms of the lowest overhead for charities.

So every time I go shopping, I’m placed in the awkward position of having to say “no” to someone. Every single time. I really don’t like to say “no” to people. I like to say “yes.”

So here it is, my imaginary conversation with this wheelchair-bound beggar:

“Hi there, I couldn’t help but notice that every time I shop here at New Seasons, you ask me if I can give you some money. And maybe you have noticed that I always say no.

So look, here’s the deal. I’m always going to say no, because I don’t give money to individuals, but rather, to  charitable organizations. However, I always feel uncomfortable saying no to you, and I don’t want to do that thing where I have to walk in another direction just to avoid you. So, this is what I propose: when you see me, instead of asking me if I have any spare change, you say, “hi, how you doing today?” and I say, “great, how about you?” and we have a pleasant little conversation. What do you think?”

I told my friend, Lisa, about this guy and my imaginary conversation, and she said, “oh my God, that is just so you – ‘o.k. look, here’s the deal.'”

And now you know why that’s the name of my blog.

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About Leila

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a yoga and fitness instructor and personal trainer. And I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. My life is defined by my family, and right now, that means chronic worry and fear. Thank God for my faith and the support of my family and friends. I started this blog to talk about all sorts of things, but now I focus on Syria. Until this war is over, I, like all Syrians with a love for their country and their families, am a prisoner of this war, waiting to see what will be left after the dust settles. I pray for the safety of my family and for my country to survive and repair itself in the future. God willing.
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