My wife got a job in Detroit downtown. Once the fourth most populous metropolis in USA; the city is now notorious for its high crime rate. There is frequent news of innocent people dying of some drug dealer opening fire on his customers. People get guns pointed at by preteen kids for money. Economic downturn, corruption and occasional violence turned Detroit into a ghost-town with abandoned buildings, closed businesses and homeless and hungry people. I was scared about the fact that my wife was going to traverse those streets and walk those sidewalks.
I decided to check the situation out. I was standing near the grand circus park when a man appeared from nowhere. He had disheveled white hair and a carelessly grown beard. His shirt was torn at places. He was wearing ragged shorts and worn-out shoes. He carried a file with papers sticking out, haphazardly. He looked tired. He charged at me. I took a few steps backward in panic.
“Sir, there were riots in Comerica Park last week and a boy in our community lost his father. We are collecting funds for him.” the man said looking down so as to avoid eye contact.
I thought to myself, ‘There was no news of riots in Detroit the previous week. But, I should give him money. He might be dangerous. What if he has a weapon?’
“Sir… Don’t you want to help this kid…? His father died, right?” his words woke me out of the thoughts.
I immediately took out a five dollar bill and handed it over. He thanked me and started walking away in a hurry; almost trying to run away.
“Hey wait!” I found myself calling him.
He reluctantly turned back, not knowing why I would have called him.
I took out a dollar bill from my pocket. Walking a few steps towards him, I said, “Jimmy’s down the street serves a good sandwich for six bucks.”
He looked up into my eyes and reached for the dollar.
Pointing it towards the sky and nodding his head, he said, “Thank you Sir. I will. I’m really hungry.”
With a weary smile on his face, he disappeared back in the park.