I find it rude to turn down anyone who asks me for anything. I would rather say yes to all requests and smile back at anyone who smiles at me. (This is the cause of 96% of all my problems. In a later post, I will relate to you what the other 4% is caused by).
Here in Stellenbosch, I always smile at the homeless people on the street because they greet me with so much enthusiasm. 'Bonjour?' one even said to me once and I was so impressed that I stopped to have a short conversation with him in the little french that I knew. ('Homeless' is actually not the appropriate word for these guys. They sort out what other people call garbage and sell recyclables to factories. Very hard workers. And I hear they make loads of cash too but they have to maintain a certain look that goes with the job).
So when people ask me to do them favours, I willingly oblige, only to find out later that I am only human and cannot possibly satisfy everyone. The irony is that, in trying to please everyone, I end up pleasing very few, because I can't often meet my end of the bargain. I have to short-change everyone, especially myself.
My art is my selfish space. There, I do things for me. I take myself out of the crowd and into my own big world where I am everything and everything is for me. I no longer feel the urge to constantly surround myself with people and things. And even when I am in a crowd, I can take a break and enter my mind, just to dream.