What do you do? Wanda and I were shopping at Lowes in Lake City. As we were loading up the truck a man asked Wanda for money for food. She said no, and he walked on and we drove off. In the next few blocks we talked back and forth about what to do. Do we give a guy like that money? Do we drive him to a restaurant and buy him a meal? Do we donate money to a homeless shelter or to a soup kitchen.?
We talked it back and forth, talking about the 60 Minutes show we saw about the rich beggars in New York, who thought they had a bad day if they didn't take in hundreds of dollars. We talked about how this economy has changed everything and what we would do if we were forced out to the streets. Hey, it can happen to anybody.
Well, the more we talked the guiltier we got, and I turned the truck around and we headed back to the Lowes' parking lot. The man was gone, and I guess for me, I was neither relieved or sad. It just put the question back on us for the next time it happens.
I don't like the idea of telling somebody that I can't trust them with cash money, but will take them and buy them food, but then I don't like the idea of giving cash to somebody that could be scamming me.
I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that the people claiming to be the 99% are making a lot more sense every time I see a person in need. We might be as we claim the richest nation on earth, but we sure do not spread the wealth around. Our own government admits that we have something like 40,000,000 people living under the poverty level, and you we have millions out on the streets.
It's sad when you don't know what to do. You pay your taxes, and one would think some of that tax money would be used for those at the very bottom, but instead we use it to kill people in our wars and to pay tax rebates to corporations making billions in profits. No, I am not making that up, that is the truth.
I wish I knew what to do for the next person who comes along asking me for help. I hope I will take the time to take him or her out to eat, and see in the conversation if giving them what I can is prudent.
BACK to the Politics Columns.