Had an interesting moment at Walmart. The TL;DR version is I wonder when I will completely lose faith in humanity, but so far, I still have some.
I was heading into Walmart when I was approached by a woman who had three “flower pens” with her. Didn’t take more than a moment to figure out she needed money or food. She said she made those flowers and I stopped her and said I didn’t have any cash. Living in Vegas for all my life, I have had more than one occasion where I have given money and the person immediately went to a liquor store or bought cigarettes. But this woman said she has three little girls and she also needed formula and diapers. I walked away while saying “Well, I will see what I can do.” My immediate feeling was to do nothing because more than likely, she was lying to me.
I grabbed everything I needed and made my rounds in the store like I usually do, and I found myself at the baby section. I’ve been told that I am too nice too often, but here I was grabbing fifty 12 month diapers and a can of formula. I checked out and the whole time I wondered if the woman had run off trying to bum off money from other people. Oddly, she was in the exact spot I had previously encountered her. And she was smoking a cigarette. Reluctantly, I pushed my cart toward her and waited for her to make eye contact with me. She did and I said “you need formula and diapers, right?” She nodded, and I grabbed the bag that contained those items.
“I really hope you’re telling me the truth,” I told her and she said she was. “And maybe don’t spend money on cigarettes, huh?” She told me she bummed the cigarette off someone because she had no idea what to do. She said “if it was about the money, I wouldn’t ask for diapers and food for my baby.” I handed her the bag and said “have a good one. Take care of your girls.” She kept saying “God bless you… God bless you.”
Now… I don’t feel good but I don’t feel bad about what I did. Part of me is thinking it was incredibly stupid of me to spend that money on someone I didn’t know and on someone who made some poor choices in life. The other part of me felt incredibly sad (if she was telling the truth) and I know I would want some kind of miracle if my kids were in danger of any kind. So I don’t know if what I did was right or stupid. I just know I’ve spent money on worse and I know if I didn’t do something, I would have thought about that moment for the rest of my life. I don’t like playing the ‘what if’ game with myself. I think at the end of the night, I would be comfortable with myself in the decision I made.