Emotional Dilemma

February 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

It’s cold outside. (duh, this is Minnesota, and it’s the 4th day of February.)

I drive by some one who is walking outside and immediately pity them:

*Maybe they have no other way of getting place to place in the freezing winter?

Then logic butts in with:

*Maybe they spent all their money on liquor instead of saving for a car?

*Maybe they enjoy walking and feeling the brisk air?

*Maybe this is a pity tactic to get picked-up and they have far different intentions that just bumming a ride….

(as in to rape an honest, good-doer citizen and dump the body somewhere and run away with the car…)

Regardless, I don’t stop to ask if they’d like a ride.

But this is different.

I live in a trailer park, and have often seen a disabled man out to get his mail.

His walk is slow and staggered because of a strong limp. His plight to get down and back up the hill that goes from his trailer to the mailboxes always gives me a feeling of courage and hope (I think I can, I think I can)

Today he had a backpack, and he went straight past the mailboxes and continued walking towards the road.

Where was he going? To work? Grocery shopping? How far would he have to walk? Would he have a ride back home afterwards, or would he have to walk all the way back again?

My heart ached from the confusion. I wanted to drive over to him and offer him a ride – that’s the Minnesota nice thing to do. Hell, I would help him get his groceries too and bring them back to his house if that was the case!

But I don’t know how to approach such a thing without putting him down.

Maybe he walks places because it gives him self-worth. Every time he makes it to his destination he has defied the odds.

Nobody wants to feel pitied, especially someone who pushes through a disability so forcefully that it makes them stronger than any “healthy-bodied” person.

But everyone does need support, and to feel they aren’t alone.

I know that if it weren’t for the kindness of strangers I may very well have been dead many years ago.

What would you do?

Ask the man if he needs a ride, or let nature continue on its course?

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