As I was walking out of the hospital where I intern, a shabbily dressed slightly unkempt man, in his late 40s, held out his hand asking for money. Instead of walking away, I walked up to him and told him I had no food. He said he needed the money to drink.
I told him that I could not encourage his drinking. I struck up a conversation with him, and he spoke with me in English. I asked him about his work and family, but he was reluctant to answer. By then, my auto had arrived, and I had to rush. So I told him before leaving that I could not give him money to buy alcohol, but that I wished him well in life. He gave me his blessings.
As I got into the auto and looked back, I saw that an older man who was also exiting the hospital shouting and threatening to call the police if he didn’t leave the premises.
That’s when I realized how critical perspective is.
Nobody deserves to be treated with disrespect. If you can’t help, at least be kind with your words.