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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Mike, Jan 5, 2004.
There's a panhandler in Atlanta that has a sign that reads: "Why lie? I need a beer."
well, I can atleast deal with the honesty...
I saw one the other day at a stop light in Austin that said "Will take verbal abuse for money." It was a young college-aged looking guy with a backpack and a dog.
But that's a very good reason not to give any money - i.e. not wanting to contribute to another alcoholism statistic.
I was in Atlanta last week down at The Tabernackle to See Robert Randolph and the Family Band. I was outside sitting down and this homeless guy walks up to me sees a beer sitting near me (it wasn't my beer) and just picks it up and drinks it... then he asked me for $12 so he could go buy some beer...
Ok so its not a great story.. but thats what happened... i din't give him any money
Several people I know, will give food to beggars or even a cup of tea, but refuse to give money as it might be used for drink/drugs.
But often when I've been with them, they just get rude replies. In fact, in my town it has been found that a lot of people claiming to be "hungry and homeless " are in fact neither!
So there was a famous case in the UK of a guy who admitted when picked up by the Police that his aggressive begging was the only way he could pay for his Heroin addiction!
The point is that if you give these people money, you are allowing then to continue with their addiction - if they can't make enough money to feed their alcoholism, then there is a higher chance they will get off the streets and into a rehabilitation programme, where they could actually get the help they really need!
So you really are doing them a favour in the long term, if you don't give any money!
don't worry... I don't give them any money. There are plenty of ways to get help here in the states... I donate to the foundations, not to a person who can make a clever sign...
I have no problem handing out cash on occasion.
I gave up on being a Messiah long ago. A few of my ideals have fallen by the way side. People bury themselves with addiction because they haven't purged the demons which drive them to the habit to begin with. It's not my responsobilty to purge them. Someone else hung himself on a cross a few thousand years ago for that with varying results. The onus is on the panhandler. What he does with the 20 bucks is his perogative. Not mine. I take no responsibility for another adult's choices, good or bad. There's only so much one can control.
I just thought the sign was funny for nothing more than it was in a "black" humor sort of way. Dark humor is one of my few specialities.
I too contribute to organized charities. However, I consider giving a few bucks to a panhandler now and then, regardless of its ultimate use, charity as well.
"If a homeless person has a funny sign, he hasn't been homeless for that long.....a real homeless person is too hungry to be funny" - Chris Rock
I think the point to realise is that by giving some money, all we are doing is making ourselves "feel good" - we are not actually helping that person or doing them any good.
If people take this on board, then of course it's up to you what you do...
I agree with you Bruce and I can deal with the self deception b/c I am not responsible for the demons that drive his addiction. Someone else has to live with that. I may as well hand him a bottle of cheap whiskey b/c the end result probably won't be very constructive either way. I might place money in the demons' hands but I don't give the bill to the liquor store clerk. He does. Then again, he may have bought himself a sandwich or two with the whiskey or not bought whiskey at all. That's the gamble I'm willing to take.
No amounts of rehabilitation will help any junkie or alcoholic if they do not want to get better, or try half-heartedly. They can only clean themselves up if they feel 'sick and tired of being sick and tired.' I would argue that the odds of rehabilitation are the same whether you give money or food...it is, in the end up to the junkie to decide when or if they have hit rock bottom. There is no cure for alcoholism or drug addiction, just the will to get better, and stay better!
But the picture is funny, though...
I saw a cartoon in National Review that had a graduate in cap & gown holding a sign that read:
will toil for sustenance
But that doesn't mean every begger is using the money for drugs.
I'd give him 30 bucks...
20 for my booze,and 10 for his
Response: "Well, Bud, you're half-way home, eh?"
I was sitting at McDonalds drive-thru one year a few days before Thanksgiving, and this guy, who I wasn't sure if he was homeless or not (didn't look it) Came up to my window and asked for spare change. Gave me the line about losing his job, kids gotta eat etc.. or something. Anyway I gave him whatever I had in the car. It was enough to get food.
So - all these alcohol and drug clinics are wrong and shouldn't exist ....
The point is that if you stay on the streets then you certainly won't be cured - so the first step is to get off the streets.
The only way they can stay on the streets is if people do give them money - so those people who give money are helping maintain the status quo and stopping that person changing....
But why are they begging - in the UK we have social security and many hostels for the homeless - there are all sorts of programmes.
But all of these have rules about no drugs or drink - so it is the case that the people on the streets are the ones who refuse to conform to these rules - so there is a high likliehood that they are there because they have been thrown off a programme for something like drugs!