Terrible Observation

I should have blogged about this on wednesday… but the feels were so strong last night that I couldn’t even move around, let alone think and type.

My mother’s restaurant is in the heart of downtown Toronto, which means we see a variety of costumers. I have spent the last five years of my life with restaurants, so I am used to the local hobos, the jackass robbers, the tired businessman, the neighbourhood whore, the old couples, the preppy art students… you name the stereotypes, I can list at least 2 people who are on a first name bases with me.

So when I saw a sleazy man standing outside this wednesday, my first reaction was to ignore him…

My mind is still very confused and I don’t think I can form complete sentences, so I’ll go over this point-by-point.

1. After 5min. the man was still there

2. As I pass by the front of the restaurant, I actually heard what he was saying.

“Help, help, help…”

3. As I take a look at him, I realize that he is blind and is holding a card in his hand.

4. I run out of the door after realizing this.

5. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me in a stubbling and panicing voice: that he is a HIV victim and has not ate anything for a week. He was shaking a whole lot and he was holding on to his card(it’s an official card issued to those who have been infected with HIV… I don’t know what it’s called) as if it’s the only means of him living.

6. I honesty told him that I did not have any money, I really wanted to run back into the restaurant and get him something to eat. But my mind just stopped think and I just apologized.

Like I said, I have interacted with many types of people  for the last five years. I think you could say that because there are so many people posing as needy people, I have had my “goodwill” burnt long before today. I now look at people on the streets with a half-hearted intention, I know that there are people on the streets who are really in need of support, but I also know that that population has been polluted with people who are too lazy to work for their next bottle of beer.

The incident with this man was the real deal, he had that card in his hand, he was blind, and he stood there, asking me for help. While he told me his story, he grabbed by hand and did not let go.

I honestly did not have ANYTHING on me, and while I realized that I could run into the restaurant to grab something for him to eat, I didn’t do anything. I wanted to help him, I really did. But the sudden memory of all the people who have burnt my goodwill for the last five years suddenly injected into my thoughts. And I also remembered the possible consequences of helping these people. Without much thinking, I just sincerely apologized and wished him a good luck.

7.As of right now, I still feel like I have done something horrible and I keep on thinking about how that man is doing right now.

The last point I’d like bring up is this:

While the man talked to me, he told me that he has been asking for help all day and that at well into the afternoon, I was the 5th person who talked to him.

I have two feelings about this statement:


2. Is it right for us to be so self centric?

I understand that in a big city, the only way you can feel like an individual, or have some privacy, is to shut everyone else out. But is this a good thing? I think we have became so selfish that we do not see the need to help those who are needy. Even with all the support groups out there promoting help for the less fortunate, many of us still do not see the need to help. I am proud of my city as we are one of the most hostile and charitable city in the world, but as I look at people who are in my everyday life(the student body at my school, the office workers who we serve at our restaurant) I can only see a small amount of people who care. I don’t think there will ever be a point where everyone will think like this small group of people, but it also frustrates me to see people like that man who honestly needs help


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