Monday, 2 January 2012

What would you have done ?

Display in the Charles Darwin Centre
Our granddaughter has been staying with us for the past week and we took her back to Shrewsbury today to catch the train back to her home just the other side Chester.  We were quite early and arranged to meet back at the car park in an hour to drive her to the station. Sixteen year olds just love to shop.
It was grey and wet and the wind chilled right through to my bones. Not many folks braving it out. Most of the shops were closed (or closed down)  except for the clothes sales desperados and Waterstones. 'New Year Bank Holiday' and all that.  I trudged up the bank, past the Square towards Wyle Cop. A young girl ( probably the age of my grand daughter) came towards me on a motobility scooter and stopped right by me. She was very thin and not dressed too well. She looked straight at me and said quietly, 'Please can you give me some money so that I can have something to eat?' So I did - well actually only the price of a sandwich. She stood up on the scooter, put the bits of silver into her jeans pocket and trundled off. Was I sucker Number One? Or should I have given her more?  I don't know - the pain in her eyes somehow haunted me. And then as I walked back through the Charles Darwin Centre there was a ring fenced fake snow and Polar bears Christmassy sort of display. What amazed me were the amount of coins thrown over into it - hundreds of them just lying there.
Should I have given her more money? Should I have ignored her and just walked on by?
'What would you have done?'


  1. Afraid I must have confused you Molly. My visitors are on their way back to Florida...I'm buried under a mountain of laundry!

    Sister V always tells me, in these situations, to ask yourself the question "What would Love do?"

    I think Love would have done exactly what you did...given her some money and then fretted over whether you were being duped or not generous enough.

    You have a kind heart Molly.

  2. I would have walked over to a restaurant with her and bought her a sandwich.

  3. J what am I like. How lovely to see your precious family. I wish them a safe journey back. Sister V is very wise and I'm going to remember those little gems of wisdom.
    Delores - only one small supermarket open, quite a few streets away and I suppose I just trusted that she would buy food of some sort - I hope she did.

  4. I never question anyone who says they need money for food. I give them what I can. Helping them is on me, and how they spend the money is on them. It is up to both of us to do the right thing.

    Of course, you did the what was compassionate and kind. Molly. You are a good person.

  5. I would have either given her nothing; given her the same as you; or given her more. I hope that helps.

  6. Hey Molly, I think you definitely did the right thing and I think it's sensible that you give just enough money to buy food........

    I would've done the same and if she was duping me well I'm not out of pocket a small fortune just a few coins.
    I remember once in Melbourne an elderly man of dubious character, obviously living on the street asked for some money one night. I handed over half a pizza which was left over from our dinner. It was fresh, still warm, he took it and turned to walk away. As I watched he put it on the ground and kept walking..........may be he didn't like anchovies on his pizza, but I suspect he was after a beverage to go with it!!

    Claire :}

  7. I would have done the same!

    Happy new year!


  8. Oh Molly. you truly have a kind heart.
    I just never know. Times are tough. I consider myself a compassionate person and want to help whenever and wherever I'm able. But I don't want to enable anyone either. If the money is going for food that's wonderful, but I don't like to think that it would instead be used to purchase alcohol or drugs - the very thing that may be the underlying cause for the need for charity. I think we all want to be charitable, but there are those who will exploit that too. I just don't know. I feel you did the right thing. If she needed more, she will find it. Happy new year to you my friend.

  9. Happy New Year Molly - I think I would have done the same as you - no, I am sure I would - and wondered afterwards whether I had been duped.

  10. I can't resist a good beggar either, but I may have wondered if she hadn't just half-inched the scooter!

  11. I take the view that it's better to give and then regret it than to regret not giving anything.

    Anyone who is desperate enough (or brazen enough) to ask for money from complete strangers probably needs help in some way or other.

    Well done you for giving.

  12. I would have done the same thing..and wondered how she had a little scooter..but still i would not have settled with ease if I did not give her the money for food.

  13. I think you responded instinctively - but I haven't seen this person around the town on a scooter - I must say it is difficukt to know whether they are genuine always - Happy New Year to you two out there - xx

  14. I would have given her money or escorted her to a sandwich shop and bought her food and saw that she ate it and did not drink it or shoot it up. But I am a cynical old prison nurse who has dealt with far too many drug addicts and that is one reason I left because I feared I was losing every ounce of compassion I ever had. You did a very good deed, do not doubt yourself.

  15. Somewhere in the Bible it says "were all beggars" and it's not for us to decide if someone needs it or not. So, you did good!

  16. I would have bought her a sandwich and WATCH her eat it! x

  17. I would have given her money or have taken her to food hall & then to the Oxfam for warm clothing.

  18. I don't know, she was probably fine, really, 'just a beggar', but I'd have given her something too. Just to be on the safe side.

  19. I can remember...years back, when I worked in Acton, near Ealing Broadway.
    I used to shop in Ealing at lunchtime.
    Just outside the station, on the ground sat a fellow with a dog, begging for money - for I suppose -food.
    I watched as a lady reached from her bag and put a tin of dog-food down in-front of them.
    If looks could kill, then I saw it.
    There I saw a kind gesture - but not what was expected.
    "Money is the rot of all evil".
    Molly dear, You did what your heart told you to.
    Bless you....Bernard. xx

  20. Dam my keyboard!
    That should have read "Root of all evil".
    Well, if it's not the keyboard it's the red wine!

  21. I would have done as you did Molly. You can't control WHAT is done with the money, but how do you live with yourself if it's really food she needed and you turned her away?
    You have a soft heart...good for you!!

  22. I think helping someone is never wrong, be it the price of a sandwich or food for a that moment someone asked for your help and you responded kindly and that's all that matters. You didn't judge her, so don't judge yourself.
    Happy New Year Molly...

  23. It was very nice of you to give her the money, and she should have said thank you. But who knows? Maybe she was prideful . . . You certainly shouldn't feel bad. You have a sweet heart.