Minding My Own Business–Sort Of (and Seva)

When I was walking to work this morning, I saw this man stretched out on the grass in Stanton Park. It was drizzling, but pleasant. I did not feel any need for an umbrella. The man was definitely breathing, and he had put some cardboard on the ground before lying down. Had it been sunny and had he been lying on a bench or a spread out blanket instead of on wet grass, I would not have wondered at all whether he might need help.

Would he want “help” that would include waking him up? Would it serve to call emergency services when his lying out in the rain did not seem like an immediate matter of life or death, though did raise questions about whether the man was ok? If all calling did was trigger police waking him and telling him to move actually have made things better for him? Because I could not answer these questions and because he had made himself the pallet of cardboard–leading me to think he had chosen the spot rather than fell, I decided to leave him be. I cannot know whether that was the right thing to have done.

This debate in my head did raise questions about the conundrums of offering charity and service and whether and when we can ever serve selflessly, unclouded by our own preconceived notions of what is right and good.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


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