Hindsight is 20/20 and I realize that I fell short to a homeless man's request for aid.
I was sitting at McDonald's having breakfast, lost in thought to compose a new poem for this blog. A disheveled man approached me suddenly, a wild look in his eyes, and a loud demand emerging from his lips:
"I need money for some food!"
I always help the homeless in their quest for a meal. And here a meal could be had quickly. But the man's tone was off-putting and I found myself on the defensive. Quickly I calculated that I was only willing to give the man two ones, and told him so.
That wasn't enough, the man said. He needed $5 to $10, he said, "so I can choose for myself what to order."
He kept insisting, and I found myself getting irritated. I had come to the restaurant for some peace and quiet and this man, this stranger, was disturbing it! How dare he DEMAND money from me, I thought.
I was perturbed. Reluctantly, I parted with the $2, but instead of thanking me, he glared at me.
Later, it dawned on me:
Hunger is not polite and it's not pretty. Hunger is strident, screaming to be noticed.
I know that now. And I wish that I had given the man enough money for a decent meal.
--By Ron Cooper