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to feel like this about what I did?

(25 Posts)
Notagainmun Sat 21-Nov-15 22:46:47

Out Christmas shopping with friend. Had a lovely morning but the wind was bitter. We saw a young homeless man in an empty shop doorway. We decided to buy him a hot breakfast roll and take away coffee. We just asked him if he would like them and he was very grateful and we went on our way. There was realistically nothing else I could do for him at that moment. I have a son around his age and would hope someone would do the same for him if he ever ended up in the same situation. So I did a minor but kind thing but why do I feel like I was lady muck bestowing crumbs to the villagers?

I am not asking for praise just opinions on why I feel like shit about it.

WorraLiberty Sat 21-Nov-15 22:48:54

No idea

Maybe because you feel privileged or something?

Only you can work it out really.

Paddingtonthebear Sat 21-Nov-15 22:50:46

Because you feel guilty that you are in a better position, and conscious that you don't want to appear patronising.

You did a lovely kind thing. I feel the same sadness and guilt when I see people in the same situation on the street.

You are a good person. The world is unfair. Don't be hard on yourself flowers

AyeAmarok Sat 21-Nov-15 22:51:56

Maybe it's that thing where people say "there's no such thing as altruism", because it's not a selfless act if you derive some pleasure out of it.

So maybe you felt a little bit of pleasure from your nice gesture and then your guilt makes you think you shouldn't because the man's still in an awful situation and you get to just walk away?

That's my armchair diagnosis!

Every little helps, OP.

carbsfoundme Sat 21-Nov-15 23:00:55

That was a really nice thing to do. :-) Thank God for kind people like you.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 21-Nov-15 23:18:45

I always think it's nicer to do things like that then throw them a few coins.

Last winter I bought a homeless man a thick woolly hat, some thick socks and some thick gloves. I also bought 6 tins of dog food for his dog grin

Fatmomma99 Sun 22-Nov-15 00:08:45

Don't vote Tory?

Moopsboopsmum Sun 22-Nov-15 08:15:08

At least you didn't give him some cash towards his next £10 bag or whatever smack costs these days.

saraht84 Sun 22-Nov-15 08:49:17

Hang on now. Not everyone finds themselves homeless through drug addiction. That's a bit of a nasty generalisation.

OP you did a very kind thing.

3sugarsplease Sun 22-Nov-15 08:51:09

Wow nice jump onto Tory bashing and assumptions that every homeless person is a drug addict hmm

DoingTheBestICan Sun 22-Nov-15 09:05:12

I remember last Winter I passed a young lad about 18/19 and I was with ds. We bought him some hot food, a hot drink and some water. When we passed them to him we stopped for a chat and he told us no one ever talks to him anymore, he felt invisible.

I asked him why he was living on the street and he said his Mum's new bf hated him and she had kicked him out as per bf request. It was really sad.

So nothing to do with him being a drug addict or tory voters ffs. Some people are just dicks.

Fratelli Sun 22-Nov-15 09:06:10

Ahh I volunteer for a homeless charity and it is lovely. I'm so pleased people like you do things like this. Buying food and drink is a lot more thoughtful than giving money and many wouldn't spend it on food anyway.

Homelessness is a huge problem in this country which people seem to forget about sadly. Thank god for charities and people like you

SorryCantBeArsed Sun 22-Nov-15 09:07:35

Because sometime when we give someone a little bit we later think we could have done more. You gave a homeless man a meal, a really nice and helpful thing to do. It doesn't stop him being hungry today though and thats the problem,
A few years ago I was Christmas shopping, had several bags and a large box to carry. A man asked me to buy the Big Issue. I'd got one already but I asked him if he would carry this box. He smiled and said no problem so off we walked for a good few minutes until I got to where I was being picked up. We talked and he told me he ended up homeless because of drinking, he'd lost his family his home and his job. He wasn't after sympathy just telling it how it was, said it was his own fault and that he was in a shelter and looking for work. I gave him money and he said thanks but he also said it was nice that I'd trusted him to carry this box, it had a mini stero in, as it made him feel normal. It made me feel good and lousy at the same time.

ScarlettDarling Sun 22-Nov-15 09:11:13

Op, I think you're just feeling sad because that poor lad is in such an awful situation.

You were kind to him, you helped to warm him up on a freezing day and gave him a meal. You did more than 99% of other people around that day.

You have nothing to feel shit about. If more people would do small acts of kindness like that, the world would be a better place

Footle Sun 22-Nov-15 09:18:35

I recently saw a young man sitting hopelessly in the street and went to buy him some hot food and coffee. As I walked back with it a police officer got out of her van and questioned me , not very politely , about whether he had asked me for anything. Then she said "I'm moving him on anyway". I asked if it would be all right for him to have his meal first. A short standoff ensued while he gulped some coffee before starting to walk away.

riverboat1 Sun 22-Nov-15 09:25:54

I can't stop myself having a smug, 'what a good person I am' moment when I help out a homeless person, and then I feel rubbish and stupid for having that reflex, like I have done it to make myself feel better not them, when really I have barely done anything in the first place and should be doing a whole lot more if I really want to deserve to feel good about myself. Maybe you are feeling something similar?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 22-Nov-15 09:34:31

Footle. That's sad.

We were visiting an event in a welsh seaside town in the summer.

There was a homeless guy on a corner, with his dog.

We (me and dcs) gave him cold water, cold coke, pack of sandwiches and some cereal bars. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes, we were eating and drinking together. He was a lovely chap, he made dcs laugh with silly jokes. He didn't ask for money (or food).

We went away feeling that we had made him a little happier, and he had cheered up my dcs who had been stuck in the car for ages.

You did what you could, at the time. The general advice from charities is not to give cash (unless buying big issue). But to give actual things, which you did. Warm food/drink. Warm clothing. All good.

Unless you have a few spare million in the bank, in which case you should have booked him into a local hotel for a few nights...

Chocolateteabag Sun 22-Nov-15 09:44:53

OP and Riverboat - I have felt exactly the same. Keep seeing same guy selling the Big Issue in town. Kept walking past and saying no thanks and later wondering why I didn't just either give him money or ask if he wanted a coffee. One day a couple of weeks ago I did get him a coffee and felt so bad that I felt good for doing it - one sodding cup of coffee. He refused my offer of anything to eat as he said it looks bad to people walking past if he's eating

rogueantimatter Sun 22-Nov-15 09:50:21

riverboat has it in a nutshell IMO.

But you can't mend all the ills of the world. Every little helps. Your kind action might have more effect than you realise even if only indirectly; passers by will have seen you - they might be positively influenced by your good example, your action might have been the straw that 'makes' the camel's back in this guy's case - you never know.

There are lots of other ways to make the world a better place that don't necessarily require a lot of effort/resources/change of lifestyle that you could think about if you feel that would help make you feel better about yourself eg buying ethically. Apologies if I'm wide of the mark.

EnidB Sun 22-Nov-15 09:58:05

During the week on Radio Scotland they were interviewing a man who has been a man living rough for a month to raise money for a charity he supports, a refuge for women and children. They need money to buy the property they currently rent. He spoke honestly about the feeling of invisibility and how nice it was when someone asked him what he wanted. You didn't ignore a lad, he reminds you how grateful you are your son is safe and warm. You aren't lady muck, you just had a small connection with another person

AtSea1979 Sun 22-Nov-15 09:58:32

I'd like to do more but don't really have DC free time to do much.

JOEYDOESNTSHAREFOOD Sun 22-Nov-15 09:59:10

Footle, I had a similar situation - I offered to buy chippy tea and a hot drink for a young man. The chippy refused to let him sit inside because he wasn't the paying customer. Yeah right. She said she'd call the police, so I said ok, we'd wait.

However, by the time the police arrived he was just finishing up, they gave the chippy owner a conversation about wasting police time and the young lad a list of homeless shelters. He'd only been on the streets a few days - it was the first time anybody had stopped to help him.

OP, I felt great , like I'd really helped, until I walked around the corner and saw another young man sat in a doorway. sad

Footle Sun 22-Nov-15 12:28:29

Joey, good result ! I mean the first part. The second part is discouraging.

Givinguph0pe Sun 22-Nov-15 12:47:57

I did the exact same thing yesterday. Was with ds (6) and there was a youngish guy just sat huddled up. Everyone was ignoring him which must be horrible. So we went and got him something to eat and a hot drink and gave him a few pounds as well.

When I worked in the city centre there was one homeless guy I used to buy lunch for several times a week. It sounds crazy but I just chose one guy because it seemed like at least I was helping someone. There were too many people sleeping rough to help them all sadly. So I thought if it was the same guy it might make more of a difference? I don't know, made sense at the time. I used to stop and have a chat with him too.

Noeuf Sun 22-Nov-15 15:17:58

It's a bit of hope though isn't it? Stopping and chatting , all that, helps you feel part of society - maybe it's the reassurance that the council or the shelter or the big issue office or whatever might also be okay to talk to. Little tiny bricks in the wall.
Ds and ds agreed to share a lunch at costa in order to donate a whole lunch to the homeless guy they chatted to. They probably felt great about themselves but so what?

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