What would you do if you run into a stranger and he/she needs help?
That happened to me long time ago. When I was walking to a post office nearby to send a package, a middle aged guy suddenly appeared and began speaking. I sort of assumed that is all about religious persuasion but it turns out he asked me money in a roundabout way.
This is Japan where such things rarely happen. Of course I daily saw homeless people collecting aluminum cans but never happened to relate with them. That guy wore normally. Soon I was alert and take distance from him. I was ready not to be deceived by a potential scammer. At the same time I felt safe because it was aside a road where cars often passing by. People would watch out at least if fight started.
He began explaining to me he was foolish enough to fail around age of me and changed his job a lot since, and finally got fired months ago but never been hired again because of the age.
From my side that story just sounded plausible for deceiving money. I was skeptic. But he obviously looked TIRED and SERIOUS...
"Plus I have panic disorder. That disorder makes me hard to work normally."
Sadly his way of talking somehow convinced me of that. So I confirmed him whether have talked with city officer to apply for welfare. Luckily he is on the process to be adapted but problem is the money transaction will likely start three weeks later or more. According to him he has just payed for the rent and he does not have enough money anymore to financially sustain till then. He went further.
"I attempted to borrow minimum money from various people, no one helped me though, so I felt too desperate. I understood this is the end."
He tried to commit suicide by standing on railway track nearby station but captured right before attempting. And then he intended suicidal car crash, also failed and being yelled of course. Then he found me walking.
As far as I was concerned by observing his attitude so far he sounded believable. Plus I wore a shabby t-shirt, training pants and flip-flip on my feet at that time. Who the hell wants to target me to rob. I did not look to be having a good life at all. Besides it was on a local street. I thought many things.
I took distance from him again in case and opened my wallet. Thousands yen would not be enough to sustain weeks, I pulled 10,000 yen instead and said "I will give you this."
"No sir. I can't take this much..." said he.
"It's okay. Please have this. But do me a favor that pay this forward for someone else who needs a hand when you recovered. That's what I all hope."
I could clearly see his shoulder started wobbling. And then cried loudly for a while.
"Things will go better. Please don't cry."
I don't know what exactly happened to that poor guy. He might have been a gamble addict or shattered entrepreneur, but it could be me. I know I act very stupidly often and lost many people as a result. Tragedy can happen to people that no one would ever wish to. Everybody has hardships on their own. Probably I was too naive. Anyway I quit monthly contribution to non-profit organization before, so that was the money I pooled for this. Unexpectedly.