I was outside a Tesco store when a big guy approached me. In another dimension of the world, he looked regular and could have been a family man to buy something from the store.
He spoke and I thought he was asking for the time because he was pointing at my arm or somewhere. I told him it was 10 past 6, but he pointed at my arm again, now with a much clearer voice, in a very elegant English accent, "Do you have a change for me for coffee, please?"
I took a second look at him and noticed, his scruffy face, a week-old clothes, and could have been blood shot eyes. But it was chilly that night.
I was a nice innocent guy, and at another time, I could have generously given him a few. But the world taught me to think, to be harsh.
I took a third look at him and saw him as what the world taught me, he a lazy man, that I've worked for every pound that I have for me to just give it to someone like him... that if I give him something, that it would encourage him to be that way.
The other week, I was rushing through the entrance of the tube, and there was a homeless, "You got a change, mate?" And I swiftly looked away and walked faster. Just the other day, there was a guy playing a guitar in the middle of a scorching sun, and I walked past. Not a care.
And how about last year, when I ignored the homeless children asking for something to buy dinner. And all the other times I chose to look away, and ignore.
I could have given that man outside of the Tesco some coins for his coffee. Or I could have bought the coffee myself and given it to him just in case. Maybe it would have brightened up his rough day. Maybe it would help him get through the chilly night. Maybe it would help him realise something about his life, just maybe.
And maybe, I could have put that all behind me now; without all these lingering guilt.
And so therefore I promise to myself, that I have resolved this personal moral conflict, and that I choose to be giving, rather than guilty and miserable.