One of the tough things about being part of the homeless street scene: You’re surrounded by needy people. So you have to pick your spots, where you’re going to help somebody. Because if you try to help everybody you’ll be sucked dry real quick.
Further complicating the situation: there are the Truly Needy. And then there are the con artists who mimic the Truly Needy to exploit other people’s Good Samaritan impulses. Usually they don’t want to lift a finger to help themselves. They’d rather you did it for them. They are like babies, endlessly demanding assistance and service from others. They’re classic bums, really. And they endlessly weave a tale of their latest woes, as a sales-pitch, before they hit you up.
Anyways, one night we happened to be hanging out with one of these types. And as usual he made numerous requests for me to help him get through his latest dire circumstance. Requests I politely declined.
Finally he resorted to playing his big card. In an attempt to guilt-trip me, he sneered:
“What goes around comes around, dude. Some day your bad karma is going to come back at you. And you’ll be sitting here asking for help, and nobody will help you.”
“Maybe so,” I said. “But maybe that explains why YOU’RE sitting here and nobody will help you right now.”
People rarely have much success when they try to one-up me on philosophical issues.