While walking through the public parking lot, across from the Salvation Army, I noticed a man sprawled on the ground in the corner of the lot. In light of the number of deaths that happened in the Anchorage area in the last few months, I thought the least I could do was see if he was alive or not. Rather than trying to do this alone, I tried to ask a woman walking through the lot if she would watch my back by starting with, “Excuse me, do you have a second…”
All I got was a cool response: “Sorry,” and the back of her head.
With the number of panhandling requests we get walking around town these days, I can understand her reluctance to give me a moment to explain myself. All of us have been in that uncomfortable place at least once recently. Maybe we’re becoming desensitized. Maybe we’re becoming more fearful. Maybe we just don’t care what others have to say. Whatever the case may be, it makes me wonder what might happen if I’m ever in a position and need some assistance. Hopefully, my karma will pay me back.
As it turns out, the man was intoxicated and sleeping it off, but by taking a moment to know for sure, I’ll still sleep better tonight. To that woman, and to everyone else who just walked away, I hope you read this …