"Hello sir," or "madam" if it was a woman, "I am a homeless person, I am HIV-seropositive, I have nothing to eat, can you please part with some small change for a needy person?"
This poor soul was wandering down the platform, passing each and everyone one of the waiting train passengers, holding out his hand and repeating the phrase above, over and over again. The phrase was repeated identically and verbatim (except for a sir or a madam stuck in there), fired off rapidly from one potential giving face to the next hopeful source of all-forgiving money.
His face was emaciated and filled with protruding pimples, he was as skinny as a skeleton, he was wearing these pyjama party pants that drooped from his hips, and his deep-set eyes were like pinpoints staring into another mirror repeating the memorized phrase over and over again.
He zeroed in on me and stood right in front of me, although I kept gazing downwards, pretending I was absorbed in my novel. I just shook my head and lied to him that I was sorry but I did not have any change on me.
He gave up pretty quickly, and then he approached the next person and then the next. What surprised me was that the following five or more waiting passsengers all listened patiently until the very end of his speech, nodded their heads, reached into their purses and gave him some change.
So you had me the greedy and uncaring person and then you had the rest of the world so kind and forgiving to humanity.
Of course, that made me feel guilty. Who did I think I was casting this poor soul away and perhaps even letting him die in the end? I could be responsible for any other fellow human-being and not even realize it.
"Hello madam, I am a homeless person, I ..."