Friday, December 26, 2014

Can you spare a dollar?

At 6am on a subway train, a man announced, to the train car I was sitting in, that he was homeless. He was just looking for some help so that he could get something to eat and of course not use it for drugs. I sat there trying to sleep a little and ignored his plea, as many passengers usually do. Then he walked around to collect his hard earned money. “2 cents! What am I supposed to do with this? Buy candy?” he started, “How are we in a metropolis and this is how you treat the needy?” Clearly he was hurt and upset. “What are we coming to where you can’t give the homeless money? Do you people celebrate Thanksgiving?” He asked everyone, “I’m asking you, do you?” This man went on and I’m sure we all couldn’t wait until the next stop. Personally, I was ready to yell at him. How dare he try quilting people to give him money?

Everyday there are many panhandlers in NYC and other cites as well. My opinion about it is that people shouldn't give money to them. ESPECIALLY if they didn't even try earning it. I commend those who dance, sing, tell jokes or use whatever talents they have to earn the money from the passengers. But the girls with the baby sleeping and a sign or the dirty guy holding a sign or this guy who just announces his unfortunate situation, do not compel me to dig into my pockets. I have volunteered with many organizations in my lifetime and some were to benefit the homeless. I know there are resources out there and I refuse to believe everyone who is on the street is in dire need of food.

This brings me to my actual point. When will someone come onto the train and just say, “Good Morning Everyone! I hope you have a nice day.”? I felt like doing this the other day, and only saying that. No scripture or preaching after, just a pleasant gesture. Then I thought a little further with this idea. What if someone who was on the train made an announcement like this, “Hello everyone. I just wanted to say that I’m not on the street and I don’t need your money. I am a New Yorker. Finished High School/College and now thinking about starting at a business.  Although times can get hard; we don’t all end up on the street. Just remember that.”

How different would your train rides be if you heard that instead of someone asking you for money?

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