A few weeks ago, I stood inside a community center staring at a long folding table with free apples, onions, bread, homegrown herbs, and some Ghirardelli dark chocolate bars waiting for anyone who wanted it.
Knowing that it was dangerous, I reached for the chocolate bar. I am a sugar addict with little to no self-control when it comes to eating sugary foods. I excused my decision by convincing myself that I JUST wanted to see if this high-quality chocolate was as good as my homemade chocolate. Being the good addict that I am, I quickly devoured a small piece. Yes, it was good, but not as good as mine. That didn’t stop me from reaching for another small piece. That too quickly disappeared. Within five minutes, I had eaten two of the pieces. Would I stop? Would the entire candy bar be devoured? Would there be another candy bar somewhere that called my name?
I needed to get rid of the chocolate! I headed for the outside door to the outside of the building door and walked up a street where I noticed a man sitting inside a building sitting behind a desk. Maybe he would eat my chocolate. A locked door stood between us. He stood up and came to the door and inquired “How can I help you?” I showed him the chocolate and asked if he would like it. I didn’t take time to tell him about my addiction which would have explained my offering. He quickly thanked me and told me that he is a diabetic but maybe someone in the library, which was around the corner, would like it.
Good idea. I knew many of the library employees. Surely, someone would take my chocolate. I quickly walked to the library entrance and saw a man sitting against a brick near the entrance. “Would you like some chocolate?” I asked. He stared ahead without answering. I paused to give him a minute to respond. Still no answer, so I walked to the library entrance.
Chocolate in my hand
There was a sign on a door showing the library hours. I had to wait thirty minutes. Doubt set in. The chocolate was still in my hand. There were several options. I could wait thirty minutes; walk over to the post office or Whole Foods which were five minutes away and offer employees my chocolate. There was one drawback. Did I have the confidence to not let the sugar addict in me demand that I eat more chocolate? Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure. Could I? Would I?
There was no way of knowing. Waiting didn’t seem like a good option. The candy had to be disposed of and quickly too. There were two options: the trash can behind me and the library return book bin. I chose the latter. It was right in front of me, and throwing out good chocolate was not acceptable.
What a relief! The temptation was gone and replaced by guilt. What had I done? Chocolate did not belong in the library book return! That wasn’t acceptable. Within fifteen minutes after the library opened its doors, I went inside and confessed to a worker who said, “That is really good chocolate.” I agreed. “Don’t feel bad. It happens “she said to me. “No, it doesn’t. People don’t throw chocolate in your book return!” I insisted. She smiled and stood up. ” I will go look for it.” She did and I waited and waited for her return. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes passed and there was no sign of her. So, I left the library.
The following week, I went into the library and saw her sitting at her desk. “Did you find it?” I asked. With a beaming smiled she told me “Yes we did, and we enjoyed eating the chocolate.”