24 February 2008

My Faith in Humanity

I left the supermarket and walked towards the car, and saw someone coming closer as I got in. A young man, probably around the same age as me give and take a few years, came up to me and said 'excuse me?'...

He looked as if he wanted to ask for something, so I looked at him and asked what he needed. He said, 'i'm sorry for asking this' looking a little embarrassed, 'but can I ask you where you live?'. I figured he needed a ride somewhere, but I was already late and really didn't have much time to pick up a random stranger (considering that he wasn't a hot female). Anyhow, he continued, saying he had somehow ran out of money and his car was empty on gas, and he wanted to borrow some cash and bring me the money back later/tommorow.

Now, generally i'm the sort of person who likes helping people out. Unfortunately, I do that with a bit of naiveness, and that as life passed, I managed to go through a few situations that reduced my trust in the honesty of mankind. Once for example (a long time ago), an old man walked into the bank I worked at; he sat down, had a little chat with me, somehow managed to convince me that he knew my dad, and somehow also managed to convince me to lend him 10 dinars to buy food for his family, which he wanted to pay back the next day (some crap about his government check not arriving, bla bla). A nice, old man, and me being the naive guy who likes helping people, decided he seemed credible enough. Well, I never saw him again.

That's the problem; a few cases like this and I decided i'll stop believing people actually needed help. Doesn't that cause a problem, however, for the few people who really do need help? I honestly do want to help, but I don't necessarily want to get taken advantage of. So what to do?

I remember a case where a guy once stopped his car near mine and asked me for money; he was from another country and somehow spent all his cash, and needed enough to fill up gas to drive back home. I told this guy to go f**k himself. The fancy car he was driving also made his little story a tad unbelievable.

Anyhow; I looked at the guy infront of me, pondered a while, and checked my wallet; I had a single dinar, enough for a little gas to get him wherever he wanted to go. I figured that there is a chance he wasn't telling the truth, but it's only a dinar, and the difference it would make to him had he been telling the truth is significantly more than the annoyance I would get if I find out I was ripped off for a dinar.

He asked for my number, and I gave it to him; he asked where I live, and promised he'll pass by tommorow to drop off the money. I said, sure, whatever; i'm not really worried about the cash, but I guess by tommorow i'll know if I can renew my faith in the honesty of humanity, or if I should be a total ass about helping people from now on.


Woozie said...

Yeah, you're never going to see him again.

You should have asked to see his car and to see him try to start it.

Zainal said...

i actually have a different scenario :D .

He'll call , and ask for yer house direction ... when he reaches he'll ask -> will you lend me some more ?
now here the fun starts you simply cant hide , unless you change your phone number & move to another state هههههههههههه

nough said , now can i borrow few of the millions you got =) you know where my blog is & i cant hide .

Zi-One said...

3ad t9adeg ,, ana me7taja :P m9areef eljam3a wel bait 5aloni afales ;p lool walla ur a nice guy ;p
i dont think you will see him again bs if u did goolena 3shan astans ana b3ad li2ana kela ysawoonha feeni ;/

Lone Ranger'ess said...

do update us if "ur faith has been renewed in the honesty of humanity".. i presume it being beneficial for our future encounters;p

Romston said...

Yeah i totaly understand how u feel. I had the same kind of thing too...

For faith in humanity, it think there'll be hope as long as if you were that guy you gave back the money to him. Then in that case, there's still chance that some other people think like you.

And sincerely, Leaders of the world have not this quality.

Gardens of Sand said...

I had similar scenarios happen to me where people approach me for money. I went through a phase were I size up the person to try to determine if they really needed help or not. Now I don't bother, if approached for help, I usually do what I can, what they do with their money is on their conscience not mine. For my part, I cleared my conscience by assisting when asked for help. Funnily enough, I was approached by a man in a gas station asking me for money to make a call. I gave him money although I did not believe him. I watched him go in the gas station and come out to the phone booth where he made a call to ask for directions. I was glad I resist the urge to roll the window up and pretend I did not understand.

KJ said...

Oh man I am so sorry I missed out so many posts, I have been still on your old blog! You should have posted there and said to come here :S

Yalla I will come back later to thig post and read and comment properly

rosh said...

You know what, you aren't the only naive one - my personal opinion, most souls raised in the GCC area are sort of naive, because most often, we believe people asking for help, genuinely need help. I am super naive, however, have managed to learn and mature on a few things over the years. My fear is that, one day, I might turn by back on someone who truly needed help.

Let us know how this turned out - fingers crossed!

eshda3wa said...

look at is this way

when helping people just be satisfied that u helped

regardless if the deserved it or not

Coolred38 said...

If someone borrows money from you and promises to pay it back...then you never see them again...its probably a good thing.

btw didnt your mother ever tell you not to give your number and address to strangers...tsk tsk.

KJ said...

I agree with eshda3wa but I don't commend you for giving him your address. You don't know that if he turns out to be a fake that he wouldn't just raid your apartment.

Redbelt said...

You did WHAT?
Sorry Ammar. I have a policy: Never give out money to people who blatantly ask for it. They probably don't.
A guy without petrol? He could call a friend or a distant relative, can't he? I don't suppose he is some kind of "fagi3" and popped out of no where. there MUST be someone he knows.
If you do get your money back then I'm buying you Breakfast at the next gathering. (Well, the April one for me).

icon said...

would you tell us if he didn't disappoint you?!

ammaro said...

woozie; that's not the point. i wasn't looking for proof; call it more of a test of humanity to see if it would work out or not.

zainal; hahaaay, good one. give me one good reason i should give you a million? did you run out of gas?

zi-one; and suddenly, after reading this post, everyone is needy! :p

lone; sure, if you're ever stuck by the side of the road without gas.

romston; im just waiting to see, honestly. lets hope

gardens; thats good to know. its small situations that make you feel good, thats pretty much the reason i gave him the $. im just waiting to see if he'll call back or otherwise

kj; dude, i did! i said i updated the site and the RSS feed was updated etc :p

rosh; thats true; our societies were pretty much safe havens over the past few years. its only recently that people have started getting less and less trustworthy

eshda3wa; wouldnt you label that as getting taken advantage of? thats being too naive eshda3wa

coolred; i need you to explain how that is a good thing? experience wise, you mean? anyhow, no, i didnt give him my address!

kj; i didnt give him my address guys! lol

redbelt; like i said, im not doing it for him, im doing it for me :p im testing mankind, waaaaaah

icon; i most definately shall!

Butterfly said...

The same happened to me except that the driver was Asian and was with a woman and a young girl.

He said that he came from KSA and lost or spent all of his money. I can't remember now and said that he needs BD20 to fill his car with petrol and pay for the insurance on the causeway.

I can't deny that I was suspicious about the whole story but then I thought what about if he is telling the truth, so I gave him the money and never knew if he was telling the truth or repeated the same thing with other victims.

Most of the time I just follow my instincts in such situations.

Shale bin Agnon said...

Can I have some money for a hostel? is the junkie line around here.

Sous said...

So did he turn up? And i can totally understand u both wanting to help him and both feeling ur not sure whether to do it or not. I get this all the time and I guess most of the time im a sucker...

i*maginate said...

hmm - tuff thang...experience shapes us but there's so much what can do, acc. to instinct delevoped with experience.