On a diverse food court, my touristic apparel is almost camouflaged by the gamut of transverse personality all rushing to one place or the other. Key word in the previous sentence being “almost”. I am convinced there is a “sucker” sign stapled on me somewhere for in the midst of this traveler quagmire, the panhandlers have fine tuned their antennas and to my surprise I seem to be the target!
Now I believe in helping the poor; the ones in need; the ones in pain for when mercy is given, mercy is returned. That and God also told us to take care of the poor. However, when I read reports that panhandlers make over 35k a year (with little to no expenses mind you) and further I see them buying booze at the local market, I can’t help but to feel angered and overly cynical of any and all panhandlers.
To be clear, I am not ignorant of the fact that there are indeed people out there who need the goodwill of some. Indeed, I am positive that there are many out there who find themselves at the mercy of the generosity of the few. But this fact serves only to anger me more! Due to the laziness, selfishness, and parasitical nature of some, the ones who truly need help suffer from the byproduct of cynicism resulting from the actions of these depraved.
I have heard stories of people who have fallen in hard times only to do the unthinkable (work minimum wage) while they get back on their feet. Doing things that no one wants to do. Labor in ways that would almost put slave labor to shame and all of this because there is a hunger for survival that genuine hardship creates.
To further clarify; I am we’ll aware that some of these on the streets may suffer from some form of handicap that may prevent them from being effective on their zeal to overcome adversity. However, these handicaps are; for the most part, easily recognizable from a simple conversation. On the other hand the professional free loafers I refer to are not only mentally capable, but physically capable as well to contribute to society.
Very Scrooge-like of me…I know. But if Jesus was angered at the thievery taking place in the temple when he was here on earth, I wonder if the same would not apply to these…people. I could be wrong. Maybe I need God to soften my heart. Indeed I am not perfect nor are my sins less than the free loader’s.
Nevertheless, so help me! If one more panhandler asks me for money, I may just lose my Christianity for a brief moment. (Thank God that’s not really possible).