Friday after work, I passed a girl sitting on the street with her hand out, begging. And I do mean “girl” — she was maybe 21 years old. Naturally I pretended to not see her. Except two seconds later I caught my reflection in a building and saw a poofy dress and new shoes. Terrible contrast, and of course way worse for her. And of course even mentioning my own discomfort is a little bit totally ridiculous.
So I gave this girl a $20 bill. The surprised look on her face made me think I’d just helped her out. Maybe I bought her a dinner, or some time to take a break? Maybe she knew one more person cared about her. I felt good… for a second. Then I remembered how pale she was and why you’re not supposed to do this: I just bought her next fix, right? And then I thought: is that so bad? I really don’t know. Do you? I am researching this and in Part 2 I’ll relay what I’ve learned.