I have a busy day today so this is just a quickie. But just to add to yesterday’s post about “Please Help, Don’t Give,” I think as long as we are seeing incidents like this, it is irresponsible to endorse campaigns that encourage people to ignore their conscience. American society is trending more brutish by the day, and human nature being what it is, I’m very concerned about the broader implications of a “don’t give” message.
I’m certainly not telling people they should give money to panhandlers -- in fact, I rarely do myself, although I’ve been known to buy someone a sandwich or a hot dog. But what you do is your business and what I do is my business.
There’s a shocking lack of compassion in this country in general, especially in relation to the homeless. But the homeless are our responsibility because, collectively, we’ve created the problem. For example, we keep people from getting the medication they need (if you’ve ever known someone suffering from bipolar disorder, you will know what I mean). And then there are all the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans turning up on our streets.
We need to pressure our city leaders to address this problem in a real, substantive way. The homeless will not go away, and the problem will not fix itself.
Just sayin’ ...