Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Poverty Does

Today Ravenna and I went to Roots Market with the BFF and after buying produce and checking out the critters we wandered over to the flea market in search of treasures. Christie was in search of a candy dish (which she found for $1!) and I was just keeping my eye out for Depression glass, Delft and useful junk. Just as we were about to leave I spotted some cool stuff at a table I had passed by earlier. The man sitting at the table was quite eccentric, had incredibly LONG nose hair and a generally disheveled appearance. No matter, it wasn't unusual.

I spotted a blue and white serving platter and while I debated over buying it (the price wasn't bad I just didn't need it) I had one ear open to the conversations this man was having with other customers. I became startled to observe that this man was actually begging people to buy his wares. Then I started to look around. It didn't take a rocket scientist to notice that something was up. The seller appeared to be living out of his van. He said that he used to be a Social Studies teacher and was down on his luck. He needed some sales. Some people might call me a sucker but I don't believe that there was any dishonesty going on.

My heart broke to see this lonely, eccentric human being begging for me to buy a $10 platter that was certainly worth much more. I bought it even though I didn't need it. After leaving I felt so grateful for my comfortable life and the blessings of being surrounded by wonderful friends and family. What did he have? I really don't know but in my experience with flea market sellers they might bring down the price of an item but they never beg.

What could I do for this man? Could I have done more than just bought the platter? All these thoughts fill my mind now. What more could I have done?


  1. You're a way better person than I am. I would have said sorry and kept on moving. YGG!

  2. never stop being such a kind hearted person!

  3. Good for you! These days it's so hard to look at a beggar and trust that they really need your help, but whether they are honest or not is besides the point. The point is that you do what you feel is right.

    And that's a beautiful plate, what a treasure.