Tell us about a time when you should have helped someone… but didn’t.

I can't think of a time where someone I know asked for help and I refused the plea, aside from the rare times that I was asked to contribute baked treats and I was unable due to previous commitments. Those instances don't really count because I know that there were more than enough other people to pick up the slack.

I remember trying to help a group of homeless people down in the subway station on West 4th Street with a friend of mine in 1988 by offering them the left over buffet food that we had from the office Christmas party, we didn't want the wonderful food to go to waste so we made up several platters, the party had been catered, we worked for a successful, funky law firm in Soho, they threw parties every week. Anyway, we made the platters look appetizing because we didn't want the homeless people to get their feelings hurt by showing them any disrespect. However when we showed up and tried to offer it to them, we were yelled at and cursed at and one of the men started to chase us, screaming that he didn't want food, he wanted money. It was very scary, I was glad that my friend and I were both in really good shape and we could run very fast. We didn't regret trying to deliver food to those unfortunate people, life in New York City was brutal during those years and the NYPD was charged with cleaning up the city and these poor souls had nowhere to go which would make for a hopeless and scary situation. I can't imagine what it is like to not know what kind of danger you may encounter at any minute, you aren't safe in the shelters, aren't safe on the streets, it an existence that no one should have to endure and too many of them have untreated mental illnesses or drug problems that often arise from self-medicating to alleviate the pain of undiagnosed ailments.

Having written all that perhaps I should devote some energy to helping the less fortunate, but for the time being with my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the best that I can do is to write to my legislators and needle them about not cutting food stamps, not defunding Obamacare, pushing through bills that brings back manufacturing to the States and other initiatives focused on the forgotten and voiceless populations.

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