Beggars Can Be Choosers

A truth I recently learned. I have done it too I suppose. I am sure that there have been times that I may have responded in the same way. Working in Starbucks during our closing shifts I come home with muffins and sandwiches sometimes and that has been great because I haven't had to spend money on food. When I walk home, I walk through a mildly shady area of town with dirty night clubs and beggers and homeless people. Since I walk home each night with a bag of food, sometimes a big one, I have started giving it out to those that I can. If someone asks for money I stop and offer them food from my bag and most are very appreciative and it seems to make their night. I could never eat all the food that I carry back to my hostel, so it is not that big of a deal. But recently I have meet Johnny. He sits in the same place every night outside a grocery store. The first night I talked with Johnny he took a croissant and a muffin and said thank you. The next night I was walking by again and stopped with an even bigger bag of food and offered it to Johnny. He looked around and said that he didn't want anything. I asked to make sure that I had heard him right. He was sitting in a sleeping bag and looked like he has lived on the street for the past two years. When I offered him food, something that seemed to be what he was asking for, he rejected it. Food, a basic necessity to living, something that he actually needed, and not money to buy crack or beer. But when offered it he said no thank you. As I walked away dumbfounded and a bit confused I was struck with the fact that so many times in my life I am just like Johnny. I am asking for something I want and instead presented with something I need.  And, though I know I need it, I reject it and become upset at what I didn't get that I wanted.  How selfish is that?