As I was walking down the library stairs, a man approached me. He had bright, lucid, blue eyes. His grey hair was messy and his gestures were kind and cautious. He asked me for 25 cents to make a
phone call. I searched inside my pockets only to find just a couple of them, so I offered him my cell phone, which he rejected. He told me the phone call was for a job
interview. I descended to the ground floor with him to get some change. I had the feeling that I had to help him, that he really was looking for a job. He inserted the coin in the payphone
after telling me how thankful he was and I said goodbye wishing him luck. I left, happy about the whole situation, and walked towards the house I was staying at.
But then, a thought stroke me: 25 cents. I had given this man - a man who looked like a good person trying to get his life back together - 25 miserable cents. I could have given him the rest of the change from that dollar in case he needed to make more phone calls, I could've invited him to a cup of coffee, or to have dinner. I had arrived to this city for free, I had been travelling, eating and sleeping thanks to people's generosity, and yet I wasn't able to think of being generous myself with someone that actually needed it. Anguish spread inside me like corrosive acid. I stopped dead. I was on a bridge over a wide highway, already far from the city center. (...) It made no sense to come back.
I felt the urge to talk to somebody, to be comforted - but I was completely alone. I tried to accept it, accept my human mistakes. This was a lesson, next time I'd do better. But I wanted to help him, not an hypothetic next person. I thought of the necessity of having certain maxims in mind on a constant basis, and I think this was the time in my life where I've been closer to understanding the essence of religious mindsets. (...) And so I thought and overthought so much that I ended up getting lost and it took me an extra hour to get home.