On Giving | HumorOutcasts

On Giving

November 27, 2013

A few years ago during the Thanksgiving season I was in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. At the time, Cap Hill was a gritty area with numerous street youth and others in difficult situations seeking money. I was walking into a Walgreens when I saw a guy with a white cane standing right next to the entrance. He was holding a Burger King cup at chest level. So I rooted in my pocket, found two quarters, and dropped them into the cup.

But I didn’t hear that clinking noise you’d expect.

“Hey!” the guy shouted, “What the fuck did you just drop in my Coke?”

My eyebrows raced up. I glanced at the ground. No sign, nothing. Just the feet of a person hanging around, like everyone else.

I apologized effusively, feeling like an ass for multiple reasons. I asked what the drink was and raced across the street to Burger King. I returned with a large Coke and apologized once again.

I’m still charitable, because it’s the only way to be. But I now assume nothing. I no longer act without a verbal or written request, for everyone’s sake.

Thomas Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan is the author of So Much Time, So Little Change (a book of essays published by Wayman Publishing). It is available at Amazon in print and Kindle. Thomas lives in Seattle.

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3 Responses to On Giving

  1. November 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    There can be no giving, if there isn’t also some receiving!

  2. November 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Sometimes it’s not so easy to give. You try, but it’s just not that easy. I tried to give some of the proceeds from my dogs’ book to a really big animal charity and they sent me a contract that would have cost me $3000 for a lawyer to look over. All because I wanted to donate royalties. They said, “You are too small for us to get behind this project without a contract.” I went to another charity who was grateful for my checks. Hey, I tried.

  3. Forrest Brakeman
    November 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I almost did a spit take with my coffee, Thomas. Nice life moment. Of course, he got the money, and a fresh Coke.

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