Walking in to work this morning, I was approached by a 'Street Person' (non gender-specific, slightly PC term for 'bum') asking if I has a "...spare cigarette". At this precise moment, I was assailed with a multitude of thoughts and feelings. So much so that I simply looked at him and walked on. Normally I would have made a comment, rude, polite, or other - just to acknowledge, but I suddenly had such an onrush of thoughts that I just moved on blankly. The following are some of what hit me at that precise moment: The thing is, I will mull over this for the rest of the day. Tomorrow I will have forgotten it completely, but that guy will still be out there somewhere, picking up butts out of the gutter, sleeping on park benches or in a tunnel somewhere.

Everyone is here for a reason, I wonder what his is. Perhaps just to spark this pang of guilt in me. But what do I feel guilty about? That I am better off that him? That I didn't/won't/can't help him? Or that I am part of a society that has no time or tolerance for the downtrodden and weak?

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