Saturday, March 15, 2014

What if it's real? (Content Warning!)

Hi Friends;

  Warning, this is a tear-jerker.  It will make you mad, make you think, and make you sad.... maybe.

Last week as I passed a man with a sign saying he needed money for food to feed his kids.  I had the dog in the truck, so I was limited on some things I could do, and we've recently had people panhandling - an area that almost never gets that.  He was at the bottom of the highway exit, I was driving past on the road the exit emptied into.  I continued on past this man with the struggle in my heart - is this for real?   Is this fake just begging for money that I worked all day for and can barely get by myself?  I actually came home, really bothered by this.  No matter what I did, I could be wrong.  About an hour later, I went back... he was gone.  I've been bothered by this, since.  I'm mostly bothered because I just don't know what my response should have been.

  In this world, we feel so often that we are being cheated, taken advantage of and manipulated.  It's hard to know when real need is staring a person in the face.  I would like to think that I would never pass by a hungry child, but did I do so earlier - just with a different face?

  This is hard on my heart.  I think next time, I will give.  It's better on my heart to feel that at least I did the right thing, even if that person with the sign did not.  My humanity is salvaged.  And, what if it's real!???


Scottie said...

I think Randy in your last part you figured out the most important part, how it effects you and your ability to deal with stuff in your life. While you should never give more than you can afford, if you feel good about giving to someone, then it doesn't matter if they are homeless, or just short on cash in the grocery line. The fact is that when we give , it effect / affects us personally.

You can not be responsible for anyone cheating you, for anyone scamming you, for anyone doing anything. You can only be responsible for you. So if that person was legit and need the money for his family, or if he needed the money for booze, or just was getting his daily wage, it really doesn't matter to me.

What matters to me is how it effects me and in this case you. That lose change you would have given the man would have been worth the not wondering if you had done someone wrong, and having to drive back to see if you could now help.

Ron and I do not agree on this subject. Ron actually watched a favorate corner in West Palm Beach one time, and he found that most of the people there were scamming. They often used the same dog, as people with a dog got more donations, and the guy who owned the dog rented him out. Ron watched a guy with crutches who had a sign saying his legs were useless, get up, and walk to the bushes and get a bike out and leave riding it when his shift was done. Yes they scheduled who got how much time at that corner.

But I tell Ron the feeling I get from giving makes the fact of the receivers situation not important to me. If I have done some good, great, and I use to try to buy food for these panhandlers, but most time they would get angry and try to just get the money as they did not want a meal but booze. If I was taken, it is not on my soul, my karma, but on the guy who committed the fraud against me. I feel the same about rich people who also steal or scam money from me, it is their own soul in danger , not mine.

Hope this makes sense to you, I love that you care so much you went back. You are a really grand guy. I am proud to have you as a brother. Hugs

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
I love your response. It did bring something to my mind, though - something that was in the vid there are the end. The boy said "what has become of this country".. or words to that effect... and I have to wonder similar. We have found ourselves being scammed, on one hand like Ron noticed, and then on the other we have people who really are in need. Like you say, how to tell apart is likely irrelevent. But, when I saw that image of that group of folks walking by at the beach, just before that man sat down crying because he lost his dog, they were very well dressed. The sweater that man was wearing as a decoration cost at least $50 and more likely $120. But, he had nothing for the kid who was saying that he needed money to buy a meal.
It's so morally difficult, and that's why I like your response... giving is not only for the receiver, but for the giver.

Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion. Find a local service organization that helps the "fallen through the cracks needy", those who no longer get unemployment, are unstable enough to get work, but have families, etc., and donate to them. Get a handful of their cards, and give those to the panhandlers. If they truly need help, they can find the org, if they do not, you're not out anything, and you can sleep nights knowing your money is being well spent. That being said, kids are another story. The help many of them need is few and far between. I am unaware of anything in our region that assists homeless, helpless youth. I don't know what in hell we should do about that, because it sure seems like no one cares. Thank God you do.

Peace <3

randy said...

Hi Jay;
I followed your advice, looked about a bit. There are some local organizations, and I feel better now for having that info ready at hand. If the mood strikes, I'll give to the org. and allow them the free hand to deal it out.

Thanks for the help!


Anonymous said...

I saw an article today on how to explain panhandling to a 7 year old, and what this mom does about it. Here's a link: I think the responses are pretty good.

Peace <3