I’m a bad person. I thought i was generous and kind but i discovered that i was actually deluding myself all this time.
I woke up when it was almost afternoon. My body was weak from hunger, so i went out to buy some bread to fill my stomach. While i was walking home, a middle aged man with a cane suddenly reached out his hand to me, asking me to give him lunch to eat. Where he came from, that i didn’t know of, as it was in a narrow alleyway beside the intersecting road in the city. He must have been hungry too and meant no harm, but to me, it came out a little aggressive because his hand was touching my left arm while begging me for food, and i was alarmed and hella scared. I couldn’t pass through because he was unknowingly blocking the way. I didn’t know what I’ve done. Maybe it was a survival instinct- to flee away as soon as possible. My red lights have awakened and my ideal purpose in life was buried deep down within, their voice unheard.
At that moment, i could only see him as a threat to my safety. This is how i see beggars from the streets. I don’t hate them because they smell or are dirty, or because they wear ragged clothes. I avoid them because I have no knowledge of the extent of what they could do just to get what they want. Physiological needs are the basic necessities in life. We’ll fight with our life to get them, until we could care no more about the safety of others – or their lives even. This is human nature, and it scares me.
With my voice shaking, I managed to mumble words like, “Wait first, excuse me”, and he moved to the side in anticipation. I breathed in relief. I wanted to stop, turn to him, and help him but it seemed that my feet were already set to run away. My head was clouded in fear. I walked fast almost breaking to a run, never bothering to face him, afraid that he might have followed me. After successfully crossing the street, i looked back clutching my chest which was beating faster than how it normally does. I saw him from the spot where we crossed paths, and it seemed like he was buffled as to why i wasn’t there any longer when I told him to wait first. He must have thought i was a liar.
He then walked as well, with his cane leading him, opposite my direction, probably used to people passing by not caring to even glance at him. His face showed sadness and faded hope – and hunger.
If it weren’t for fear, God knows how much i wanted to talk to him – and give him some food or money. I wanted to ask how he was doing, if he still has family left, or trivial things like, where he sleeps at night. This was what’s running on my head as i resumed walking home, half in relief and half in regret, still clutching my chest and steadying my balance as my body was still shaking from that little threat to my safety – where I had to renounce being a helping person. We may or may not cross paths again, but I do hope he would forgive me for being rude and uncaring. I wish I have turned at him and have smiled in generosity.