charitable

A young man is motionless, sitting on a bench, his head down to his knees, not caring about the people passing by. He is not begging. He has not a cardboard sign telling he needs money to eat. He doesn’t speak. He’s the image of exhaustion and despair. Something terrible must be happening to him. A situation he won’t want to face.


I want to help him, sit on the bench by his side, and ask him what’s the matter, how can I help. But I’m afraid. He is young and big. I’m disabled and weak, and I don’t know if he wants to be disturbed. Or if he’s drunk or high on drugs or who knows what. So I let him alone with his thoughts and pass along doing nothing.

What kind of person am I? I used to take risks without fear, but now I’m afraid of everything.

I like to think that I’m a charitable person. I cooperate with some NGOs and give money to the parish for the poor. I help with what I can. But I think I can be more generous with my time.

How different it’s to let others do good things with your money than work with your hands helping actual people. Nevertheless, I feel more comfortable doing that under the umbrella of an organisation, with the help of other people like me wanting to make a difference, like my parish or Caritas, than go by myself trying to fix the problems of the people I find on the streets, when I don’t see chances of success.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Charitable

4 comments

  1. This is very true — you never know what’s going on in their mind or if it’s something a kind word will fix. Maybe he just flunked his math exam. But people who work in charities know how to approach a stranger.
    A person could leave their name with a trustworthy charity and say, “My means are limited, but if there’s anything I could do for someone…”

    • you’re right.I think is better that approach

      • All the same, when we really feel to speak, that the person really needs a kind work, we should not let fear hold us back. Stay in a safe place, but a kind word is often a lifesaver.
        I have at times been stopped by “How will they react?” I’ve seen someone sitting alone looking really depressed but haven’t taken the risk — and I have regretted it ever after.

      • We sometimes are going rushing everywhere and paying no attention to the problems of our neighbours. Fear? selfishness? I have stopped many times to help homeless people completely stranger to me. Only in one occasion the situation became dangerous, because I stumble upon a violent woman. Usually they were some indifferent or mostly sincerely grateful.

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