I was involved in a situation recently where an individual was asking for help. In most settings where financial assistance is offered there are questions that have to be answered. In this particular case the individual was vague, “acting” confused (this is key) and not forth coming with answers. I specifically asked the individual questions that I received very clear answers to.
There’s no need for a long version to the story. A person asked for help. Told a story to get help. Had people jumping around trying to find help (including financial).
And it was discovered the story was untrue.
While those who had been trying to help were left with a mixture of anger, frustration and irritation. Some were able to shrug it off better than others. No matter how we all felt, we all did agree we would rather err on the side of caution and help someone who did not need help than not help someone who did need it.
There are so many people who need help and tell their truths-as difficult or ugly a truth as they may think it is-they tell it. Because they want or need help. For themselves. Or their children. Or their spouse. Or for someone. I’ve seen people come in driving BMW’s asking for food. Because their situations changed, tragedy struck, something happened – and they need help. I’ve seen people who have worked their entire lives, hard work, paid their bills, took care of themselves, but they just didn’t manage money well. Or they didn’t make much money while they worked very hard. And now they can’t work hard. I’ve seen people unable to work hard, or work at all. I can’t begin to tell you the stories I’ve seen and heard.
I was standing there after this incident trying to balance frustration and anger and disbelief and my friend said….”we don’t know their story”.
No, we don’t know their story. Absolutely. But that was not because we weren’t willing to listen or help.
No matter who shows up we don’t send hungry people away. We listen to people’s stories. We understand tragedy strikes. Circumstances change. Jobs are lost. Energies are depleted. Opportunities are lost. People need help.
In processing this for myself I can’t help but try to figure out that person’s need to lie. And it comes down to this, if the person lied but still needed help I could understand that. For whatever reason if they were too embarrassed to just speak the truth, but they still needed actual help, I get that. But if they lied because they live a life of frauding others to exist then I’m not as forgiving. I don’t particularly care for how the world is painted some times. The world I see on a daily basis is a very generous and giving place. My world is made up of individuals in both their personal and work based lives who do as much as they can to help those who need a hand up, and yes, on occasion, a hand out. They care. To see them taken advantage of is frustrating.
Maybe I’m making too much out of it.
But it bothered me.