I had a late lunch today in Maxwell. As I was heading back to my office, at the cross road junction I saw an hunched back old man. He looks like a rag-and-bone, collecting soda cans from the rubbish bin. And he looks a little mentally-challenged to me. He shuffled very slowly to the traffic light, carrying 2 large bags of empty cans.
I was waiting to cross to another side of the road. Because he shuffled so slowly, he missed his green man & had to wait for the next one. In that moment when I saw him, a voice inside my head said 'help him, talk to him.' But my feet didn't move towards him. Instead, I turn to cross my side of the road.
During the walk back, I silently cursed myself. Why didn't I help him? I wasn't rushing for time. In fact, I had time to spare.
Then a thought struck me. I was embarrassed to be seen helping him. I started thinking of past encounters where I could have stepped in to help but didn't and it was pretty consistent. I was embarrassed & I did not want to be the odd one standing out. I want to belong, to be popular, to be able to blend into the group.
This afternoon I saw ugly me and I'm not proud of me.