Why do I not give?

Sara - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on November 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Earlier this year, I met a few friends at a local grill to eat and catch up on each other’s lives. We sat, talked, laughed, and went through many drink refills and bread baskets in our short time together. The conversations were very casual and it was a much needed change from the busy paces of our everyday lives. I had been the last one to arrive at the grill, and the parking lot across from the restaurant had been completely filled, so I had a decent walk ahead of me to my car. I said goodbye to my friends and started walking. Being February, it was pretty cold outside which made the sidewalk appear to stretch for an eternity.

During my walk I was staring down at my feet completely consumed with the thought of my tasks for the next day when I saw a couple walking toward me. They kept staring at me, and they both looked completely defeated. As they approached, they asked me if I had a few dollars; their car had ran out of gas and they were just trying to get back home. I had five dollars left in my wallet and for a moment I considered lying to them about it, but that moment swiftly passed as I handed them all that I had left. Their faces lit up instantly and they told me that I was the ninth person that they had asked.

That simple statement really bothered me. It was ten o’clock at night in the middle of February and no one had stopped to help out.

On my drive home I felt extremely good that I had given my five dollars, but then I started thinking. For me, it is a 50/50 toss up whether I will help out or whether I will lie that I do not have any money. So I have to ask myself, what is the root of this problem? I would consider myself a good person, but I do not give nearly as much as I probably should. Why do I not give more? It might just be the inconvenience of digging for my wallet in my extremely unorganized purse, but I cannot help but to think that it goes deeper than that. Whatever this unknown reason that haunts everyone, we could all give more. Even if it is just a smile, this I believe.