Ya know, I’m not real big on accepting chairity. I don’t think there are a whole lot of sane people who accept chairity and want more of it. Most of us(I presume) want to have enough to be chairitable to those who are less fortunate.
When I was a poor college student, every time I’d go to a certain restaurant(that shall remain nameless since it’s known nationwide), the bill would come and, well, your ol’ pal, Marcus, got to do the dine and dash without actually dashing. Translation? They would never charge me. The first time, I thought it was a fluke. The secondd, third, fourth time, well, I started to notice a pattern.
I was really torn over this. Granted, I was a poor college student, but this is southwest Missouri and I knew darned good and well there were people in there a lot, LOT poorer than I. Not students, regular folks. I assume this lack of charge was due to me being blind. They never let any of my friends slide, probably due to the fact they seemed like able-bodied peeps. So, I was torn. I still am. I can certainly afford my own dinner. A nice little treat? Sure, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t have gone to a different restaurant and gotten charged.
Now, having said that, there are some forms of chairity I’m more than happy to take. For example, our cable and home phone service is provided by Bright House networks. BH is good enough to give me free directory assistance since yours truly cannot utilize a phone book. Same with my cell service through the new AT&T. And I’ll certainly take advantage of bbeing first on a flight. Are these really chairity? Some may argue it is. I’m torn…but I’ll keep accepting these as whatever they are.
Today, I called a limo service co. for transportation to a speaking gig next month. While talking to the owner of the company, I told him I’d have my wife and my Seeing Eye dog along. He laughs, tells me about his yellow lab at home and then gives me a discounted rate. Why? In his words, “I try to give a little discount for those who may have some additional challenges getting around.”
Did he really give me a discount? I don’t know. I only know the quoted price. If he did, should I refuse totake it and demand to pay full fee? I don’t know. Transportation is one area I cannot handle on my own. Looking up a phone number? Sure, there are enough free searches and the net that make this possible. But getting from the airport to a college 30 miles away? Pretty difficult for me to accomplish on my own.
Frankly, I don’t dig taking chairity. Call it pride. Yet, I continue to accept little discounts in service along the way. Does this make me a bad person?