I bought a Chipotle burrito for a homeless man today. In a city as large and poor as Philadelphia, encountering people in need is inevitable. You don't get these ethical questions in the suburbs. Here, strangers are everywhere. Their challenges are almost always on display. You forget that within each of them there's this vast interiority of struggles and minor victories they're keeping a tally of.
I could have pretended to not speak English, or put headphones in and speed-walk away, but I didn't. It wasn't some higher calling. I'm still a reluctantly 'moral' person indistinguishable from the rest of the people walking up and down Walnut Street.
I didn't have change but offered to get him something to eat. We went into Chipotle and he ordered a steak burrito and a small cup to fill with water, or soda. I paid and left before he got a drink. He thanked me and I was off. I went to Elixir and ordered a matcha latte with oat milk.
There's part of me that's prompted to consider myself "good" re: being charitable. There's probably like 20 Good Place points in that gesture somewhere, but that would involve me believing in an afterlife. I wonder if the people, the ones to whom I give quarters at intersections, subway trains, and corners, if they think I'm a firm believer in Jesus...'or something.'
Agnosticism is like the gluten allergy of faiths. It's that self awareness of one's pretensions but then not wanting to be called a hipster in 2013. There's a smugness to it that I don't want to be associated with. I know I'm insufferable. I just don't need to display another performative merit badge to emphasize a point.
I don't want anyone to challenge it because I don't care enough to defend it. I wonder if there are any Laveyan Satanists who do charitable works. There have to be at least a handful. Humans are fucked, morally speaking. There have to be at least a few people for whom charity without reward or recognition is instinctual.
In conclusion, oat milk tastes p good in a matcha latte.