July 29, 2011 by admncc
As kids, we’ve all been in this situation…you’re walking with your parents and a homeless person comes up and solicits you for money. Being young, you naturally feel bad and want to give them something, such as food or money. Then your parents tell you that the bum only wants the money for alcohol. And then you’re scarred for life. OK, maybe it doesn’t always work that way, but you know what I mean.
My wife has always said that I’m a sucker for bums on the street. Actually, what she really says is that I have “sucker” written across my forehead. LOL. However, rather than being a sucker, I’d like to believe that I’m simply kindhearted. I’m happy to put some change in a homeless person’s cup as I walk into a baseball game. I’m happy to toss a dollar in the cup of the guy playing a saxophone when I’m downtown. I’m also happy to give the lady outside the video store a few bucks to buy milk. Does that mean I’m a sucker and foolish? Some would say yes. Other would argue no.
Because not all bums are bums, right? Yeah, I know! I’ve often joked that I’m sure some of them drive a nicer car than me. But how do you determine who’s truly in need and who’s homeless? I follow my gut.
Take the below-gentleman for instance. Every single day when I drive by Wal-Mart, he’s standing there. He stands on the same corner at the same time and holds the same sign. He’s apparently hungry and diabetic. And wow, you should see the number of cars that stop for him. Everybody gives him money! But what they don’t know is that this is the same guy who stood by a mall down the road for most of 2010. And his sign over there was different. I believe it said that he was homeless and a military veteran.
So I pulled my car up to this guy at Wal-Mart the other day and said that I wanted to take his picture for my blog. He seemed hesitant, even when I offered him a dollar. Eventually, we got to $10 and the agreement that I could take a picture but wouldn’t use his name. But I couldn’t help but wonder if his hesitation was because he isn’t homeless, hungry or diabetic at all. As an HR Guy, quite frankly, I refuse to believe that any person can’t find some kind of job in over two years. And as my neighbor put it, even if he wasn’t working, he’d still qualify for Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps – but he’s probably still making more standing in front of Wal-Mart. Heck, this dude is probably the one who owns the mansion down the road from me. What are your thoughts about this kind of charity?