The Value of Money

The other day I went to the shop near my house. It's a sad sign of the times that there is nearly always a couple of homeless in the telephone boxes near the shop.

This particular day, there were two people there - a man and a woman. I'd seen them a few times before and we'd had a chat in the past. Today, I said hello and the guy said "I don't suppose you could help us get a bed for the night?" He went on to talk about the shelter they wanted to stay in that night, and they were £8 short, with only a couple of hours left to go.

(Aside: I don't really care what your moral viewpoint on giving to people begging on the street is - I hate the idea of someone sleeping rough and it doesn't matter to me what reasons they have for being in the place that they're in. No-one should be without a place to stay in this day and age)

I was going to the shop to buy myself a quick and easy dinner - I had some stuff at home but that would have meant proper cooking, so I was going to spend a few quid on something I could just bung in the oven.

Instead, I handed over the fiver to the man and the woman. The guy almost had tears in his eyes and said "you don't know what this means to me - I can get a shower tonight - I tell you what, they won't be able to get me out of that bed in the morning".

That fiver meant a bit of convenience to me, saving myself a few minutes when cooking my tea. It meant a hot shower and a good night's sleep to that man.

The same amount of money. A world of difference in value.

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England