Monday, April 6, 2009

Destitute and Rooted

I was a bit torn about whether or not to write on this topic. I am not one to typically disparage anyone for doing what they need to do to survive, as long as it follows the Rede's advice of harming none. However, I have noticed something pop up in our never-sleepy little town of Tyler that I have never seen before here.

There are 2 different homeless people with signs begging for money and food at the end of my block.

For those of you in a city, or for those of you who used to live in a city, this may not seem like much. For me, who grew up in a town of 585 people, this is strange and upsetting. I do not fault someone for asking for help when it's needed, but I just cannot help but stare blatantly at the HELP WANTED sign in the window of the gas station across the street. We also have an enormous building within 5 miles of that spot called the East Texas Workforce Center. Here, you can live, learn a trade, and get help finding a job...for free!

What irks me the most about these men is that every time I pass them, they have more stuff. The first time I passed, one guy looked dirty and worn. The second he had a rather plush butterfly-fold lawn chair. The later times he was showered, had a powder blue truck he was sitting in the bed of, the lawn chair, a picture of jesus, and what looked like fast food wrappers. He did keep the sign, though.

Then, after a few weeks, another guy showed up with the same truck and accoutrements...and the same sign!

Something about this all leads me to not have pity on these men. I feel that pity is something that must be earned. For me to want to help you, you must be trying to make your life better. It is difficult to empathize with a bum, but it is is easy to want to help a man who is down on his luck and trying his damnedest to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Am I wrong here?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to respect them. If I am feeling overly generous when I happen to see these people, I will usually give them some food, but I never give them money. If they are trying to support a habit, I don't want to be any part of it. But, in the end, they are humans just like us, and until we are in their shoes, it's hard to judge. Who knows, if I lived on the streets I may be there, too, begging.

    These guys sound like they are saving up for Cowboys tickets at the new stadium. Probably a scam.

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