Moral Dilemma

What would you do?

You see a portly, trashy woman, missing some teeth and with a tattoo on her upper chest, sitting on the sidewalk outside your grocery store, clearly upset and in a bad way. She’s sadly digging through her purse and looking for some change, talking to someone, maybe a teenager. You look at her as you walk in, but she doesn’t say anything, and she’s not asking anyone for money.

When you walk out, you see her talking to a girl who’s probably 12 or 13, counting change, choking up and saying “We’ve got two dollars and (whatever) cents, we’re not going to be able to get much with that. What are we going to do?” As you’re putting your groceries away, you see a young girl in the car next to yours who’s probably 7 or 8, adorable, smiling kind of friendly and shy, and who just seems outgoing and smart. You wonder if she’s with this woman.

You pause at your car, wondering what you should do. You walk back to the woman, see her rocking back and forth in distress, talking to what you can only assume is her daughter, who is also adorable, smart, and who looks you in the eye as you talk to her mom. You say “Is something going on here? Do you need some help?” and she says “It’s been a tough week, our water heater went out, and…and…” She just kind of mumbles something, it seems like she’s not sure what to say, and she’s clearly mentally disabled, intoxicated, or both. Whatever is happening, she is not a functioning adult. You also notice she’s missing three middle fingers on her right hand from a birth defect, with tiny curled up pieces of skin that should have been her fingers.

As you talk to her, the little girl from the car comes up to her and starts to play with her.

What do you do?

4 thoughts on “Moral Dilemma

  1. Hang around for awhile and try to figure out what the relationship is with the little girl . Try to make sure she’s not in trouble . If it looks legit give them some money. What is the moral dilemma?


  2. Listen to her, hopefully gleaning from that what, that is within your ability, would help the most.

    Homeless and at risk people are most at risk when they are no longer seen as people. SEEING them goes a long way to begin with.


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