Today during lunch, I quickly ran into Clicks to fill my prescription. Whilst in the vitamin isle, I was approached by a young man. He seemed quite hesitant to speak to me and I could barely hear what he was saying.
He embarrassingly asked if I could help him with some nappies and formula or anything for his young baby, who is 5 1/2 months old. He said he is not asking for money and if I want, he could take me to the car and introduce me to his wife and baby, so that I could see that he was not lying. He wife had been retrenched and they didn’t have the money to get the formula and nappies his baby needed.
I told him to get the formula and nappies and I would pay for it as I certainly wasn’t going to give him money. I know what it is like to struggle and the fact that he asked for the product rather than money made me think that he really does need it for his baby.
He waited for me outside while I paid.
Two of my friends had gone with me during lunch but as we were on a bit of a tight schedule, they had run into Pick n Pay to get what they needed and had met me outside clicks.
Needless to say, they wondered why I walked out with nappies and formula and why I was handing it to a strange man.
I told them about the man and that left us discussing the issue of helping strangers. My one friend, who is quite a skeptic like me, said she probably wouldn’t have helped him as she wouldn’t have known whether to believe his story or not.
The skeptic in me was wondering whether he could be taking me for a ride but then what would he do with the nappies and formula? Although to be honest I have heard of people actually selling nappies and formula.
My response to my friend was well I would rather take the chance and know that if he really is being honest, then his baby will have milk and nappies, than immediately disbelieve him and an innocent child goes hungry.
What struck me though is that we live in a society where we have become so disillusioned by lies and corruption and being taken for a ride by others, that when people really do need help, we turn our backs on them.
I have been taken for a ride a few times, by some people who I have bent over backwards to help.
All I can do is trust that my good deed will not go unanswered and that should me or my family ever be in a position that we need help, that there will be someone who will look beyond their skepticism and give a helping hand.