Transformed by $26

Mojoey has a nice, short story on his site about how easy it can be to be generous and what that generosity can do for others:

When he knocked on my door to ask for a loan, he said he needed cash to get across town to visit a free clinic. I gave him everything in my wallet after initially saying no. He pleaded with me, which was out of character. He was having trouble with his eyes, it was important that he see a doctor. $26 did not seem like a lot of money to me, but it meant a lot to him. He promised to repay me despite my assurance there was no need. I did not expect to see the money. I was surprised by what happened next.

(via Deep Thoughts)

  • http://wings1295.blogspot.com/ Wings (Caffeinated Joe)

    Wow, thanks for sharing that. Great to read.

  • Carlie

    Good story. If it’s not too crass, I’ll put in a plug for Modest Needs . Built on the same principle, that small amounts of money can get people over a significant hurdle. I’ve been following (and donating) since it was started, and is a great story on its own. If you’re looking for a good secular organization to donate to, this is it.

  • ChameleonDave

    This is a sad story about someone who didn’t know what to do with his day except drink, and didn’t know any reason to have good eyesight except to read a single book of mythology. When he had a $26 debt to a neighbour, he chose to continue drinking about $24, and pay his debt back in a trickle. Even that was only because his mythology book gave happened to mention the idea of giving a percentage of one’s money away. He didn’t have the morals to think of that himself.

    Human detritus. It is terrible that society lets individuals fall this low.

  • littlejohn

    Heartwarming. I hate heartwarming.

  • Jarvis

    > The dollars bills were always crisp and new.

    Why does the author point this out more than once?

    Do Believers place more value on things that are new and shiny? It would explain a lot.

  • anonymouse

    Jarvis-

    I think the point of mentioning the dollars were new is that the man really was paying him day by day what he could, that he just got that money that day and found it important enough to pay the guy back that day (what he could) instead of waiting.

  • Curtis

    I was a landlord and was frequently asked to be charitable. I would guess that 90% of the times, the people were lazy scum. There was a supposedly disabled vet who was really a drunk. There were numerous losers who thought that beer, cigarettes, cable TV or high-speed internet were more important than paying rent. Being a landlord make you jaded. I am much less charitable (financially and emotionally) than I was before.

    However, there were two memorable positive experiences. A couple had been living in a van and for some reason my brother-in-law gave them a chance. One was disabled and one was going to school. Given a break, they quickly became ideal tenants and friends.

    The other was a guy who frequently got laid off. Once he got another job, he would pay his back rent $5 or $10 at time. After about 6 month, he would catch up. Inevitably, he would be laid off again and later repay back rent. Not a great guy but he was responsible in a delayed sort of way.

  • http://atheistweb.org Chris

    Giving money to an alcoholic? Never a good idea. Call me cynical if you like but I’d have given him a lift across town…

  • anonymouse

    Have a little compassion in your hearts, people! I don’t believe in religious karma but I do believe in statistical karma (if you are consistently good or bad to people, eventually someone will throw that back).

  • http://mojoey.blogspot.com Mojoey

    Thanks for the plug! I was wondering how come 3,000 additional people visited my blog. It never occurred to me it was because of this story.

    And thanks to everyone for all the kind comments. I had no idea my funny little story would touch people so. I actually wrote it to explain a joke to my son. He’s buying a car from me for one “crisp new dollar bill”. When I laughed at his phrasing, I needed to explain why.


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