Monday, March 9, 2015

Like to Help You Out... Can't!

Last week I was approached by a homeless person. He asked for help... you know... like they do. We recently received our tax refund, so I was feeling pretty blessed and wanted to pass some along. I decided I would help him out to the tune of $20. I drove him to the local thrift shop and let him pick a few articles, then drove him back to the parking lot of my workplace (where I knew I was visible to cameras). The experience changed the way I think about helping homeless people.

This person was initially friendly, but as our association dragged on, he quickly grated on my nerves. He was clearly of the pushy victim persuasion. I tried to be cordial as I bid him farewell, but my compassion was spent... I feel certain that my irritation was evident. I have a tendency to leak my true feelings through my facial expressions. He had the nerve to ask for a cigarette. Then he asked me to give him some of my snacks "for his kids". That's when I halted all conversation.

When he got out I wished him well, but knew he wouldn't be well. I was angry. Angry that a person would degrade themself by begging as a lifestyle. I know some people have rough patches, but I believe this one was a professional. A conversation about the incident with a co-worker confirmed this. Apparently he hangs around the dollar store parking lot all the time and his situation never seems to get any better.... and he smokes. If you've got money for smokes, you got money for food.

Seems to me he needs to man up, and get some self-respect and humility. If he thinks getting a job mopping floors or washing dishes is beneath him... and doesn't realize that he's already well beneath that.... his logic is messed up.

I thought about this for a long while. I considered the root causes of homelessness... and concluded that if you don't have family to take you in, you must be a real a-hole (maybe from a family of a-holes). I considered the super-heroes dilemma... the fact that no matter now much power you have you cannot save everyone.

... and don't need to. You should only do what you can. You cannot reasonably expected to do anything beyond what you are capable... and willing.

So, I concluded that helping the homeless is not something I can do. I really want to say otherwise, but I just shouldn't. Great for anyone who can, and God bless them... but I cannot. This is not my fight. I will fight elsewhere.

The video for this is weird.... so I just go with the lyrical version.

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