LOL Okay, so I guess I just have a lot to talk about today! Anyways, on Facebook today, I saw a post from my cousin that reads:
I'm sick of the hobos...always beggin for change..I dont like how I have to work..and they sit around all day and get paid.
I later spoke with my aunt N, said cousin's mother, and she explained that there was a guy that always stood on a certain street. Apparently my cousin knows the guy and knows that practically every store in the area has offered the guy a job to try and help him out but this guy has confessed to my cousin that he makes more begging than he would at a job!
Now obviously, that chaps my behind as I'm sure it does many of yours but that wasn't my issue. That comes in with my aunt K's response to my cousin's original post, which reads:
Honestly? Are you kidding me?? Her response just angered me to no end and here's why. I can't remember where I read it but, a couple years ago, I remember reading somewhere that it's thought (or perhaps it's even been proven by this point) that a large percentage of America's homeless population is comprised of severely mentally ill persons with such diseases as schizophrenia or other severe mental disorders. If that is the case, then it's not nearly as simple as these people "getting a job".
Moving on to the next group, we have those homeless persons who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves out on the streets with nowhere to go. It doesn't take much, especially in this economy. A spouse being let go from a job. A child getting cancer and needing expensive treatments. An employer canceling health insurance coverage for it's employees and dependents. A little "bad luck" can have horrible consequences and stuff like this doesn't only happen to "bad" people, though I'm sure my FOO would argue that point. After all, their favorite saying seems to be, "God helps those that help themselves!" (This is actually quite ironic since most of them seem to think everyone should just HAND them this and that on a silver platter but, I digress for now.)
Our final group is composed of those who, like the guy my cousin knows and initially posted about, are merely lazy and prefer to work the system rather than do anything to help themselves. But how can one tell the difference in every case? How easy is it to tell the difference between the truly disadvantaged and those who are simply cons taking advantage of people?
My line of thinking is this - if it's only a couple bucks or some spare pocket change, does it really matter what that person uses the money for? If they choose to deaden their suffering from a mental disorder with alcohol, who am I to judge? More to the point, what if my withholding that single dollar could have made the difference between that person being able to feed their kid(s) tonight or not?
That's not to say that, if I knew the person was a con artist working the system that I would still hand over my money. I'm not a fool. But as blessed as I am in my life, why not share a little of that with those less fortunate?
Quite frankly, my family's attitudes about certain things makes me sick and ashamed to know them. I cannot believe that I am actually related to these people. Me, who would give the shirt off my own back to help someone in need while they sit there in their houses with all their material possessions piled around them, looking down their noses at everyone else. It's disgusting. BUT, I must say, it DOES make it a lot easier not to care that they've chosen to side with my NM against me. When I read or hear stuff like my aunt K's post today, I think to myself, "Good riddance to bad rubbish!"