Penny for your thoughts - Sorry, fresh out
Okay, so maybe I am just stingy; maybe I am heartless and cruel; maybe I really don’t care; maybe I just don’t have the extra money. Yet, it seems that everywhere I go, someone is standing there begging for something. This can cover several territories - begging for money, begging for food, begging for work. You name it and they are down on their knees begging for it.
Well, maybe I am going a little overboard, but I am feeling a little overwhelmed when every time I walk into or out of a store, there is someone standing outside wanting me to give away my hard earned money. Now let me set you straight. I don’t have any hard earned money. (ok, I do have some and it was hard work to earn it!) Well, I don’t have any extra money right now. I too am in the ranks of the unemployed, and while I do have some cash saved up, the supply is slowly dwindling down and needs to be budgeted and portioned out to last awhile. Who knows how long I will need to stretch the dollar for. That being said, I don’t feel comfortable giving it away. Does that really make me a bad person?
Okay, so charities are good. I get that. They are there trying to help others better themselves. For the charities to be sitting in front of the stores, they need to get permission (and most likely a permit); for the charities to do their job, they also need money. Now this is where we come in. Obviously, these charities are not for profit. But to run, they still have to make their money somehow.
Now this is where I start to feel a little cruel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually snub my noses up at charities. In fact, I am usually a very generous person. They ask for a quarter and I will double it. If I am feeling in a good mood and particularly charitable, I will even throw in some paper money instead of the usual coinage. Yet, lately, every store I go to, has someone asking for money.
Today I went to Wal-Mart. Outside was a charity called Traffic Kids. As I walked in, they asked for money and as I walked out they asked for money. Now I realize they probably aren’t memorizing every single person that walks through the door, but I feel bad enough that I don’t have anything to spare. Yet, they seem to stare at me with their beady little eyes and make me feel guilty.
On top of it, I don’t know the charity. I know nothing about the charity. I don’t know what they do or how they help people. Typically, I would love to donate to a charity, but I prefer to support a cause that I enjoy and feel is beneficial. Now maybe I was running past them too fast due to the shame of not donating, but I don’t know anything about this charity or see information about the charity. Even with a quick Google search, I see nothing on the topic. Obviously it isn’t a very well known charity. Maybe next time I will donate so they can get the word out.
People down on their luck...
I once heard a story about a guy who lived in the Boston area. Everyday he put on his ratty clothes and walked the streets asking people for a few dollars to help him. He was dirty and he was kind. People would throw a few bucks his way and he would thank them. Every night, he would jump in his sports car and head home to his mansion. He was a fake and he was living off donated money (and doing very well at it!)
Now maybe this is an urban legend; maybe it’s not. Yet, after hearing this story, I have a real hard time donating my hard earned money to those who beg because they are down on their luck. It isn’t that I am that cruel of a person, I am just very skeptical about whether they are truly in need or just playing me.
The other day, as I was going to Target, there was a young woman sitting out front with her child. As we walked past, she asked if we could help her baby out. Now what a way to tug at a person’s heart strings. Of course, I would help a baby out. But how do I know if it is for real. On our way out of the store, the woman was being asked to leave by management. I could help feeling bad for her. Yet, I hate being begged for money. Especially since I need to be stretching my own dollars to make ends meet.
Now, I have given several dollars to the homeless, to the needy and those wanting something to eat. Whether the money has actually gone to those specific purposes, I don’t know. After all, what are these people really begging for? The sign says money… but do they need money to pay their bills; is it to put gas in their car; is it to get a bit to eat? Or, do they use the donated money to buy a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of booze. You can’t trust them! Does that make me a bad person cause I am so skeptical?
How do we fix this problem?
Okay, so there really is no way to fix this problem. In today’s economy people are losing their jobs, losing their homes; and losing just about everything. With more people needing help, more charities are popping up. That means more begging.
Now I am not a cruel person, and usually I am pretty generous, but other than the fact that I am low on my own funds, I have been having a hard time donating to anything these days. Purely because everywhere I turn somebody is asking me for money. Not only is it tiring, but it is downright expensive.
Yet, to show how generous I am, if I do find someone that seems truly in need, (I base this off my awesome judge of character that has occasionally kicked me in the behind!), I vow that I will help them in ways other than just giving them my hard earned money. If you are hungry and in need of food, I will buy you something to eat. If you are cold, I might even be generous to give up a blanket. But when it comes to money, I don’t have a lot to spare. So, if you aren’t happy with what I am willing to give, please stop making me feel guilty for not sharing my funds.
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