Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In times of recession...

I've noticed a lot more beggars on the street these days...some sit with signs that say "HOMELESS AND HUNGRY", some directly approach you when you're buying a train ticket and ask for spare change. If I'm out in the city, it happens everyday...the only problem is I'm in no position to help...sometimes they look at me, form an assumption that I am well off and I have to look them in the eye and say "sorry but I don't have a job and I'm a student relying on my folks." I definitely do not feel comfortable or entitled to give away money that's not mine!

Until the day that this changes (and I make my modest fortune)...I thought...hmm maybe I could just carry some snacks or something in my bag...cos if they really ARE hungry and not just drug addicts trying to get their next hit, they will appreciate an offer of food too...and in this cold weather even a sugar/energy hit would be helpful...and boy do I have such a huge lolly stash I should not be eating all alone!!!

Actually even if I was well off I'd much prefer to donate in kind, cos I really do think that many of these people given money would spend it on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs rather than accommodation or proper food...

I notice it already in young traveller friends...who spend down to their last $2 so have no money for proper food or transport because they had a big night Friday and spent all their money on cigarettes and alcohol...SO IRRESPONSIBLE!

In life update, I am busy HAVING FUN :) I think I was raised in such a strict success driven work obsessed "fun is not productive, not allowed" style environment that I actually consciously have to remind myself it is okay to enjoy yourself especially in your holidays :P

The weather has been great too...I'm loving being able to go walkies at the beach :-D


miruspeg said...

That is an excellent idea Macs to carry some snacks and hand them you said it is hard to distinguish between the homeless that really want food and the ones that want drugs.

Glad to read you have located your FUN gene, didn't realise it was missing. Since looking after Joseph for the last 3 years my fun gene has exploded and I am feeling sillier each day. I say things all the time like "Are we there yet"!!

To answer your question about being a god grandmother to your future kids....I'd be honoured....bring it on!

Taking about the beach I was at Freshwater Beach today having lunch and walking with friends....superb day.


HappyOrganist said...

Yes msC, hand out lolly-pops to those folks.. good idea ;-P
Hey, my parents tried to teach me not to give money to those kind (not that they're all the *same kind. but then you can't tell which will spend on alcohol and which might not) of people. Apparently when I was very young, they (as a lesson to me), gave $5 to someone like that, and we followed them (unseen, I expect) to the nearest gas station, where they did purchase alcohol (so the story goes). But the punchline is, I didn't remember this lesson at all. They had to tell me about it when I was 20 or so. heh
Yes, pack a sandwich.
My grandmother said she did that one day. I think she just happened to have sandwich in her pocket and so she gave it to someone holding a "hungry please help" sign. And he gave her a funny "what is this" look.

Shannanigans said...

when I was in new orleans I gave a man 10 bux because he said he was hungry. Who knows if he actually bought food with it. But the way I figured it, is that is his life and if he needs the money to buy him something to get through his day, so be it. I am not one to judge, and he needed it more than I did in any case.
The one things I dont like is when they use dogs or kids when they beg. I usually then buy food for the dog/kid instead of money

Stoneweaver said...

I always get tangled up when I think about what I should do regarding handing out money to beggars. Cos I know that sometimes they are in a syndicate, run 'professionally', making a huge amount of money, but then of course there are the ones who really are in need. And I wouldn't even begrudge them spending it on booze if it gets them through the night. But the trouble is that it is hard to tell, isn't it? One thing I do is donate to the Salvation Army - they are amazing in how they help the homeless. They will make my donation go a long way. Your idea of snacks is good (although I think if I carried a stash I'd probably cave in and eat it myself!)