Thursday, October 30, 2008

red light, green light

Drive by a busy intersection, liquor store, or any area with high numbers of pedestrian traffic, you know what you see? Bums. The decay of Western society finds it convenient to waste what’s left of their life away begging for handouts from the hard working passersby. As I try my hardest to avoid eye contact at all costs, a number of questions whirl around my head…

-How did this happen? Unless you’ve pulled an all out Oliver Twist and have been homeless your entire sad orphan life, what did you do? How did you go from being (or attempting to be) a productive member of society to card board sign wielding annoyances (or even worse, criminals)? Most of the answers I provide myself don’t paint these people in the best lights. If you got fired for being a bad employee, not pity here. If you’re a fresh out of jail convict, even less.

-What are your options? Mr. ‘Will-Work-For-Food,’ do you not have previous work experience or an education to fall back on? I’ve always been told that an education is priceless, because it is one thing that NOBODY can take away from you! So, did you lose your diploma or are you one of those people who thought they were too good for a FREE high school diploma and are too lazy for a GED?

-Where’s your family? Once again, unless you’ve lived a little orphan Annie life since birth, where’s your support? Do you honestly have no friends or family that can or are willing to help you through a tough spell? What did you do that was so horrible or what kind of person are you that everyone you know has turned their back on you?

-Are you serious? I guess this is the big one. With all of the assistance out there (churches, government programs, charities, etc.), you’re telling me your new life plan is to stand on a highway and beg for ashtray change? REALLY? I mean, even as a short term plan, jumping off a bridge is faster. Don’t make charitable assistance a lifestyle, but use it to get back on your feet, and off the side of the road.

The bad news is this may seem cold, but I continually ask myself these questions every time I see a down on his luck bum. I suppose the good news is, once I have cycled through this train of thought, the light has turned green!

1 comment:

Mark said...

If given the opportunity, what would you say to learning the answers to your questions?