Yesterday, I was approached semi-long distance (across the street) by a man I often see in my work neighbourhood. Palm outstretched, he asked me for a dime.

Most people don't feel generous at all when it comes to panhandlers, especially those who are doing so near liquor stores. But this wasn't the case. What really had me thinking yesterday was that he asked for a dime.

Ten cents.

Who asks for a dime these days? What could he possibly NOT get, had he showed up at the checkout in a store a dime short?

The real conflict came today when I followed him through a checkout in a nearby drugstore, where he cashed in a scratch-ticket and bought another with his winnings. It's hardly a case of "teach a man to fish", and I can't blame the guy for trying to do things the easy way, but would I have been contributing to the scratch ticket, the pint of vodka, or food? Does it matter if I've already committed to supporting the jobless (other than through my taxes) by giving to a panhandler?

Food for thought.

(Want more food for thought? Go listen to "Hole in the Bucket" by Spearhead. Sorry, I couldn't find a legal streaming download for ya.)

Posted bythemikestand at 12:31 PM  

4 stepped up to the mike:

Big Daddy said... 9:30 PM, March 24, 2006  

Thanks for commenting on my blog. That's crazy to think that someone would choose to be that lazy.

I like to be lazy at times, but I also like the sense of accomplishment completing a task and doing work.

To each their own I guess. Oh, and your article made me not feel bad at saying no as well.

Big Daddy said... 9:34 PM, March 24, 2006  

Oh, and I linked to you if that is cool. I like your posts.

gingajoy said... 4:14 PM, March 27, 2006  

i just spent 3 straight days in chicago where i dodged panhandlers left right and center. i don;t feel bad saying no (ok, i do feel bad) but i try and contribute to causes that will funnel money in more constructive ways.

Jessica said... 4:35 PM, March 27, 2006  

Food for thought, indeed.

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