Thursday, June 11, 2009


"Excuse me, can I ask you a question?"

I look up from my contemplation of the sidewalk, at an unkempt man in a dirty sweatshirt. He looks like a homeless bum, but I'm in Harvard square, so he might just be a professor for all I know, or a grad student.

"I'm hungry". He puts his hands on his stomach. "I'm trying to collect some money to buy some food".

"I have a pear". I do have a pear. It was my snack for that afternoon. I'm willing to share my food with hungry people, but this guy just wants money. I know my pear is safe.

"A pear? I can't eat pears".

"Then I can't help you"

I can't help but feel sad after this sort of encounter. What's that saying about counting your blessings? I hope this guy gets himself clean someday, but how likely is that? Sometimes I guess I need a reminder that there is a lot more to the world than what I see in my little sphere.

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