LOVE ONE ANOTHER
I've recently been watching a lot of What Would You Do? online. It's kind of like a Candid Camera type show for people with social consciences. People are put in "likely" scenarios to see how they will react. One of the most memorable shows was when they dressed up a bunch of people like polygamists in a restaurant and pretended that a 15 year old girl was being forced to marry an old man. This was a good scenario, since everyone can totally relate. I see this all the time, don't you? (That was sarcasm.) The interesting thing about What Would You Do?, besides the outlandish scenarios (a hot blonde girl stealing bikes, as if!) is how emotional I get watching it... perhaps because I am pretty heartless when it comes to helping strangers and the show makes me feel like a jerk.
Today, a man and a kid stopped me in the supermarket parking lot to ask for gas money. I said I didn't have any cash on me. This wasn't completely true. I may not have had cash on me, but I did have money in my car. Nice justification, eh? Afterward, I felt really guilty about it (or scared that this was going to be on What Would You Do?) and drove around the parking lot looking for them to give them five bucks. I never did find them, but it did get me in a reflective mood. Why am I a jerk? Why do I never give money to strangers? How can I be a nice person without giving everything I have away? Is there a more appropriate way for these people to be begging for money?
Erik, on the other hand, has no qualms about helping people out. Although I told him not to do it, Erik picked up a man walking along the side of the freeway a couple of days ago. The man had Erik drop him off at what appeared to be a meth house in a very secluded area of town. After Erik dropped him off, he called me, and in his best Mr. T voice, demanded that I give him all my money or I would never see my husband again. I said, "I'm a jerk who doesn't give money to strangers. Guess I'll never see my husband again." Then we laughed because the guy didn't kill Erik.