Charity Fail.

This is hard for me to admit, but I am not a truly charitable person. Oh, I give to the Food Bank. I donate my old stuff to charity. I shop at Value Village because a) I am cheap b) it benefits charities and c) it lessens my carbon footprint to buy what’s already been made once.  But when it comes to individuals begging on the street, I am  Judgey McJudgerson.

Part of this is that I have lived in this neighborhood for a long time. I know the guy panhandling outside Safeway spends his afternoons casing houses to grab bottles and grab whatever else he thinks he can resell that  he steals from their gardens and porches. The guy with the crutches outside the beer and wine store? I saw him walking without a limp an hour ago. He’s faking.

Part of me is ashamed that I don’t give people less fortunate  my hard-earned  money, but there’s an even bigger part of me that is not ashamed, because I am already using that money.

No, I don’t have any spare change. That’s my $1.99 slice of pizza and  that is my lunch. Three bucks in change? No, I don’t want to give it to someone on the street. I’m counting that money towards the grocery store  buy of rice, toilet paper, and ground beef. It’s not spare change.

For me, the worst is when people ask me for money when I’m doing car jockey stuff.  I recognize that there are people out there having  hard time. I recognize that I am not reasonable in my feelings about this.  But when I am doing my second job driving for the Co-op  (pays  for friends’ childrens’ education funds,  my retirement fund, etc.), I don’t think I ought to give to someone else what I earned fair and square. No.That money is earmarked.

And when a panhandler gets in my face and yells at me that he is sorry “your mother even spread her fucking legs”, I lose any latent desire to give money to those less fortunate. At all.

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