Thursday, November 8, 2007

No, I won't

The question was innocuous enough…

"Can you buy me a cup of coffee?"

My response.

"No, I won't"

Not “I can’t” but rather “I wont”

You would have thought I'd shot the poor wretch but apparently this piece of honesty hurt far more. It elicited a visceral reaction, a curse.

No great loss surely, the man wasn’t a friend, and certainly not anyone I cared about. But it got me to thinking. Somehow his reaction to my honesty was supposed to make me feel responsible in some small way for the self-induced misery of the beggar.

In a word… No.

Some might claim that I am my brother’s keeper; well if I am, I refuse to “keep” my brother a beggar by allowing him to survive as such.

So, the next time you are accosted by a vagrant, be blunt, be honest and be willing to make him/her responsible for his/her lot.

Then perhaps, just perhaps he/she will accept it.

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