As I crossed San Jacinto St. this morning a stranger approached me.
“Excuse me, sir!”
I avoided eye contact and kept walking. He called for me again. I stopped, turned and he began to speak. He told me that he was a staff sergeant in the Air Force, stationed in San Antonio. He went on to tell me he’d run out of gas at the Social Security Administration and needed some help. My instincts told me to just say, “sorry” and go about my way.
Without recounting the entire exchange, I allowed myself to be sold. I escorted him into the building and walked to the ATM where I withdrew a crisp $20 and handed it over to him.
He asked, “how am I going to be able to get this back to you?” I handed him my card and said, “call that number.”
“Josh, I really, really appreciate this.”
I have a tendency to think that I’m a good judge of character, hence me handing a $20 bill over to a complete stranger in exchange for nothing. He seemed very sincere.
He told me if I’d be at that number in an hour. I told him that I would.
He never called.
I don’t mind so much that I’m out $20. I mind that this is what our society has become. I mind that I’m raising an innocent daughter who is a beautiful person and will have to enlighten her by teaching that not everyone is beautiful.
Although they should be.
Mr. San Jacinto Street Scammer, I don’t want my $20 back. It’ll find its way back to me somehow.