Okay so I know it’s been awhile for TPMHTDM. Like Carolyn has said – facebook is killing my blog. (Softly. With its song)
But Saturday was my “Day of Good Deeds!” As you will see if you read on, it proved to be a good deeds day of mixed success.
The day started out like any other day – we went to basketball, where my son somehow scored 3 baskets! Woohoo! Then we went to do the grocery shopping. While we were at Aldi, after we had checked out and were bagging our groceries I noticed a woman who was using the phone there. She asked if I lived in Pleasant Ridge (the area where Aldi is), and I said no. Upon listening in a bit, I realized that she had locked her keys in the trunk of her car. So I offered to take her to her house and back to Aldi.
So I did – she got her keys, I drove her back, and as we were getting back to Aldi, she offered some money for gas. I told her she didn’t need to do that, since it was like 5 miles roundtrip, if that, but she shoved money into my hand. No, really, she did. So I took it – it ended up being $3, which is some pretty good ROI!! She got into her trunk, and my son and I continued on with the grocery shopping.
We got done and home around 12:00 or so and as I’m eating my lunch there is a knock on the door. I open the door, and it is a guy who tells me his truck has broken down and he needs $16 for a tow truck. He says that he has some money (and flashes it) but needs $16 more. He says that he will give an ID or he has some work ladders in his truck as collateral for it. So eventually we agree on a ladder. He comes back with the ladder, and says that with tax it is $22. I give him the $22 and he gives me the ladder, and says that he will be back in an hour to an hour and a half.
So we wait for him and wait, and… (can you see where this is going?). It was especially annoying because it prevented us from trying for the triple coin cycle since we had to wait for this guy to show up. Lots of different thoughts in our head. We did consider calling the police on Sunday when he still hadn’t shown up, but mostly “couldn’t reach”.
Of course the guy never shows up, so I figure hey on the day I’m out $19 and up a ladder. In the end, no big deal because the ladder will easily sell for that much.
That is, until the police show up yesterday (Monday) night. Apparently he’s been pulling this scam in the neighborhood for awhile and they caught him because some good souls (not us) called the police when he showed up. The ladder? Stolen from a nearby neighbor, of course. So now I’m out $19 and all I got is this lousy story!
And naturally, I feel a bit silly being scammed. In retrospect, there were a lot of warning signs that I should have picked up on. After he had left, I remember thinking to myself that it’s sad that the world has come to this where you can’t trust anyone. And that was even BEFORE he screwed me!
So while I do want to leave you with the point to be wary and watchful for scammers, I thought I’d just mention the other side of things. I shared this story / thought in Bishopric meeting this past Sunday, from Mosiah 4:16-25
…and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.
So while I do again want to stress that there is no need to let yourself be scammed, and you should be watchful of this type of behavior, and of course above all else, make sure you keep you and your family / loved ones safe, we are only judged on our OWN thoughts / actions, not the actions of others. And while I definitely do not want to get into things like whether giving money to people on the street is an effective method of “helping” them, I am remembering (only somewhat vaguely so apologies to whoever if I’m misquoting – I tried to think of where I heard this and I am thinking it was at a stake conference but I can’t remember) hearing that if you say, give money to someone on the street and they use it improperly, you are not held accountable for that (Peter Parker aside and I know that’s not quite the same situation but work with me here!).
You could certainly argue that, if we set the safety issue aside which I know that you can’t do in the real world, it would be worth giving money 99 times to people that are going to use it for alcohol or drugs if you could help out the one that was truly in need.
And although I know it isn’t completely the same as our situation this weekend, I’ve always really liked the quote above – “I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give”. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a cheapskate or use this line of thinking to justify not being as charitable as maybe I could be, but I like it.
In any case, that was the “big news” of what happened to us this weekend. In the end, it was a relatively “cheap” lesson to learn.