I give money to panhandlers. I do. Their story doesn't even really have to be that good. I'm pretty sure the guy at grand central station was not really the guy that directed the 1992 Blockbuster hit, Boomarang. But he asked me for a couple of bucks because he was down on his luck. I had a couple of bucks and my luck's not too bad, so I gave it to him. Because whatever. I was going to lose that two bucks, anyway.
Well, tonight there was a dude and his lady in the parking lot of Wallmart. They had a good story. They incorporated props. They had kids ages and the name of the shitty hotel they stay in. If you live in The Roc you know you don't want to hear about kids living in The Cadillac Hotel for Thanksgiving. They were asking me to help them out. I had just bought some crappy, useless tree ornament earrings. So, obviously, I went back into the store to get some cash back and grab a load of bread and some chicken because who doesn't like chicken? And the lady in Wallmart starts telling me how there's people out there begging all the time. "They don't want your food, they want my money." Not a news flash, they ASKED for the money.
I know she thought she was protecting me from myself. And maybe I need that. I'm not rich, I'm usually broke, and I'm in debt to my eyeballs. But I have more than enough. I have enough to spend extra on useless crap. I have way more than enough useless crap, in fact. If I couldn't spare it, I would have just said no.
When I give money, it's not because the story is great, or heart wrenching, or even true. It's not because it's the holiday season or because I expect to get it back.
It takes so little to give a little extra. I give because I love to give. Because I can give. Because that's why we're here. Because if we all do a little, no one has to do it all. I hope everyone can have enough. And can build a bigger table.
I did not give them a ride, though. Let's not get crazy.