There you are, exiting your local dining spot when you here that faint voice, you know, the one that beckons you from the ground, sitting against the building with a sleeping bag wadded up in a pile and a sign asking for donations. You now feel like you have to make a decision; give them money, say sorry I have no change or just plain ignore them. If you give them money, will they use it for food or something less desirable? If you say you have no change, do you feel like a lair? If you just ignore them do you think they will have noticed it was intentional?
Weather you give them money or not can simply come down to you not having spare change, and weather this is the truth or not, no one can judge you for that. My concern is the third choice, the choice to ignore that person. You may ask, who has the right to judge me if I decide to ignore someone, and the answer is no one! That is my point, what draws us to look at people in that situation differently? What is the deciding factor in weather we hand over our change or not? I believe it has to do with our perception of their situation. What if each one of these people was labeled with a tag that read “Fate,” or “Choice,” would that change the outcome of your interactions with them?
Think for a moment about the original situation and what your outcome would be if that individual was actually homeless because of a series of hiccups in life. That individual truly wants help, but first must take care of that aching pain caused by hunger from not eating for two days. Would you then hand over your change? If not, would you still ignore them? Now compare that to the individual who chose this life path, who chose to be a transient and leach off of others hard earned money. Think about your decisions in that scenario and notice if there are any differences. The big problem here is that most true to life homeless individuals look, talk, beg and behave in the same manor transients do, and that is because transients have learned that blending in with the homeless makes them more money.
I feel that in these situations, it is best to always remember that we are all human, we all make mistakes and we all make choices in life. No matter what our mistakes or choices are, no one has the right to judge us or make us feel bad, and the same goes for us to others. You don’t have to give away your hard earned money to someone you don’t know, but you do need to look inside your heart and make the right decision on how you treat others, because at the end of the day, you have to look yourself in the mirror.