penny for thought (robbed a homeless man on accident)

On the first sunny day at St Andrews, I took a walk to the coffee shop, picked up some iced-caramel-caffeinated-concoction, and followed the streets to nowhere in particular. ‘Spring has begun,’ I thought to myself.During my people watching extravaganza, the public seemed jovial and carefree. Does sunshine really increase overall happiness? It’s rhetorical, though there’s been some research on the subject. I’m sure. My observations: two lanky youths, holding hands and discussing their favorite sandwiches. Two small children running circles around their mother. An older couple. A Russian woman smoking a blue camel cigarette. One West Highland terrier lapping up water from a grab-and-go-dish. And last but not least, a white-haired, wiry man playing a song on his flute. The day was active. The people were filled to the very tip with robust spirit and demeanor, as sun ripped through the seems of their skin. 

As for the flutist, spirits were equally high. And I understood why. I stood, leaning against the fence outside some five-hundred-year-old church observing the musician. ‘This is a true artist’ I thought. The man who plays, who busks on the underpopulated streets of Fife. The artist can be defined, I argue, as the person inside all of us who pursues an unyielding passion for creativity. Mr. flute racked in a good ten pounds last time I checked. 

A good friend once told me that he has a policy for charity on the streets. He  gives money to older people, musicians, and people with animals. I’d like to add pregnant-women. The flutist and the melody he played resonated with some part of my being. It triggered the need to help and contribute (this has been a challenge for me since I reached college). I rarely have the money, and like most college kids I need to budget. One pound isn’t much, but for me it’s ten times the reward. After tossing the change into the man’s coin satchel, I couldn’t help but feel like I had robbed him. In a sense, the amount I gave him compared to the ‘reward’ he gave me don’t add up. It wasn’t a fair trade. Now I’m rambling. Just, you know, give to people when and if you can. Or, like me, it may take some inspirational motivation.      

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