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Thread: Helping Strangers? / Charity

  1. #11
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    With the way society is going it seems like no one wants to help anyone, though for different reasons...mostly dealing with predators or the possiblity of getting hurt in some way (physically, legally, etc). With the exception of when I'm around military personnel and their families, I've noticed that I've been helping people that I don't know less. Even little things like holding a door open for someone can get an adverse reaction these days...:

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    I don't help drunks, because its their own fault. If they drank too much, they don't know where their boundaries are. So its just good when they experience such a bad situation. I would only help them if they totally passed out by calling an ambulance.

    I would always help strangers, if necessary. But helping because of every silly situation is just unnecessary.




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    I picked a drunk out of the gutter, literally (!) once and sat him down on a shop doorway, when I could see he was ok and coherent enough. The way the buses are, he might have been runover.

    Trouble is there are so many con tricksters about, I don't give money to people claiming to have lost bus passes etc and always feel bad about it. But you also hear about good samaritans being mugged by a 'victim' when his mates turn up and do them over. They see charitable types as easy prey.

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    I try to be helpful whenever I can to people, women or older people for the most part, simple things like holding a door open or going after them if they have forgotten something to give it back to them, giving directions to people who come up and ask me etc. I'm rather reserved around strangers but at the same time it feels even worse not helping them when I am in a position to do so. I don't give money to drunks or bums who come up and ask me however, I don't think they deserve to be helped and money isn't what they need anyhow.

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    Depends on the case.

    Like Boche said, I won't help drunkards and drug addicts. I don't give money to them, or gypsies or other beggars who seem to be otherwise capable of working.
    I may be generous in giving money to the elderly or obviously handicapped/deformed people.

    Another form of help I would gladly give/receive:
    When I was in Helsinki this July, I was very pleasantly surprised at how many men stopped by and helped me carry my extra-heavy luggage on stairs and rocky pavements, without me even asking...this doesn't happen in my country so often, you have to look really desperate and ask for it if you want to be helped.

    So I will help old ladies with their grocery or mothers to lift their baby carriage, things like that.

    If I witness some violent act, I'll call the police and report it. Unless it is an obvious case of gang members taking it out on each other, drug dealers, etc...in which case I might get caught in the way, let alone they're not 'worthy' of any kind help.

    I guess I will follow my instinct and help those who seem to be in need but genuine need, not just welfare junkies and people who've brought upon their problems to themselves.

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    I help the elderly people or disabled. But not to gypsies because I once gave money to a gypsy child beggar who was begging in front of a church and he went to buy cigarettes immediately. But here in general it's atypical to help strangers. Still it's not as bad as in the capital city, Bucharest, which I think got classified as the rudest European capital. There you are basically on your own in the daily fight for metropolis survival. The population will push you until you fall and then step on you, literally. The shop assistants will chitchat with each other, ignore you and not even load your groceries for you. And if you leave something behind by mistake, you can say au revoir to it, especially if it's money, people will take it and not give it to you back.

    Anyway I have to say sometimes I'm a little skeptical of helping strangers. I would never take hitchhikers in my car for example, or hitchhike myself. Anything involving going somewhere alone with a stranger I won't do. Not because I'm only paranoid, but because there have been horrifying stories here. A girl was raped behind a building. And initially, she was only "asked for directions". If it involves directions in closed, lonely streets and areas, no thank you, I'll pass. I just say where it is but that I have no time to show them, or that I'm not a local and move on.

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    One time I was walking on my way to school, which was on the other side of town, I had only walked maybe 500 meters from my house when this car pulled up on the side of the road infront of me, the backseat car door opens and this arab kid sticks his head out and asks if I want a lift. I didn't know him but I knew another arab guy in class and figured he had to be a friend of his and so he had told them to stop and pick me up, so I say yes and walk up to the car, get in and see that there are two kids and a mum in the car, none of which I have ever seen before, but I get in since it was obviously a family car pool and not a bunch of criminals and we drive off, and I end up getting a lift downtown. It seemed a bit surreal at the time, picking someone up like that, but it was definately appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin
    A girl was raped behind a building. And initially, she was only "asked for directions".
    That is actually very tricky. More than a decade ago I had heard about a series of rapes that had happened in Athens, when a car would pull by and ask for directions, and as the women came closer they would grab them and put them in the car, then take her to some distant location to gang rape her and ditch her there. Some of those kidnappings had happened in broad daylight.

    So not something to recommend, approach someone to give directions, while walking alone.

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    Gorm's warning about lawsuits was a good reminder. A phone call is probably the most conservative.

    I think people need to differentiate between a regular citizen who has made a mistake, and a street person who may be running a con job, or worse.

    Your sixth sense should tell whether or not a person is dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Axis View Post
    That is actually very tricky. More than a decade ago I had heard about a series of rapes that had happened in Athens, when a car would pull by and ask for directions, and as the women came closer they would grab them and put them in the car, then take her to some distant location to gang rape her and ditch her there. Some of those kidnappings had happened in broad daylight.

    So not something to recommend, approach someone to give directions, while walking alone.
    The thing with the car snatching happened here as well, but with little girls. A man would stop the car, call the little girl near the car and ask her to come inside for some chocolate or other sweets. Then he'd take off with the little girl. As a child, I was always asked not to talk to strangers and especially not to accept any gifts from them. To convince me, my mother would say the chocolate from strangers is poisoned and will kill me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berthold View Post
    Your sixth sense should tell whether or not a person is dangerous.
    I totally agree with this. That's why I mostly help the elderly and disabled. They seem genuinely in need for help. The symbol of courtesy and manners in society is "helping an old lady cross the street" for a good reason. Here the elderly are among the most disadvatnaged because the pensions are small and their children abandon them.

    Once, when an old lady passed out because of the heat, the people would nearly walk over her. The poor old lady hurt herself and her nose was bleeding. I called the ambulance from my mobile then and went to the hospital to ensure myself she would be alright. But I also remember when I once passed out in a post office because of the heat how some ladies in their late 40s, maybe early 50s wanted to call the ambulance and help me. But I was alright in the end and they brought me a glass of water and sugar from the attendant's office. So I was able to walk home on my own feet and I was pleasantly surprised that some strangers helped me.

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