The other day I was gathering up some money from the local bank's cash dispenser just around the corner when this homeless person came up to me. I was at first startled by his appearance, but upon closer inspection he appeared to be harmless enough. Or so I thought. He asked in a soft and scratchy voice, you know the kind that makes you feel a hundred times more sorry for the poor guy than you should, "do you have some extra change for a poor and helpless soul?" Hmmm. I felt in an especially generous mood, more than likely because it was five below zero, and this poor guy was shivering in the cold. The hand he held out to me was shaking quite violently, almost as if he had some kind of disease of his nervous system. So I dug into my wallet and carefully handed him a two euro coin, saying "This should be enough, I hope." There was this really warm feeling inside of me, the kind that almost gives you goose bumps or tears in your eyes. I guess I had expected him to be overly surprised by my generous donation, and I was waiting for the satisfying smile of surprise on his face. Instead, he looked at the coin in the palm of his hand, frowned a little with his bushy eyebrows, and mumbled back, "Howabout two fifty then, that would be better." I felt like I had been given the short end of the stick, sucked into a bad deal, so I told him firmly, "no that will be enough for the time being." I was a little nervous being so harsh and to the point, and believe it or not I almost felt guilty. So I just walked away at a quick pace, hoping that he would not attack me from behind. But he didn't and I emerged from this adventure feeling quite disappointed with a world that was not happy enough with my openness and generosities. Another micro-quest of mine to save the world which had failed miserably. Life is full of interesting surprises which make you do double-takes, don't you think? Because of this episode I have changed my philosophy of life ever so slightly.
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