Monday, December 05, 2005

Pan Handlers

Driving down Merle Hay Road to the mall I see the pan handlers standing at the I-80 off ramp. It's about 12 degrees out and the thought comes into my head...Why would someone stand out in the freezing cold like this. How come they are so dedicated to standing here day in and day out? I seriously just don't get it. Wouldn't it be more enjoyable to get a job? Maybe they don't because they are mentally ill or have a drug problem but I still just don't get it. Maybe someday I should stop and ask since it baffles my mind everytime I drive by and see them standing there. Maybe it's because they make a lot of money standing on the corner begging for change or a couple dollars here and there. I still just don't get it. I used to feel bad and think I should give them something until a few years ago. I had some pop cans in my car and figured I'd give them to the homeless man that stood on the corner every day on my way home from work. I rolled down my window and handed them to him. I figured he would take them over to the grocery store and redeem them for change. I felt good about helping him out. The next day on my way home at the corner where he usually stood were those pop cans lying in the median. That was the last time that I ever felt sad for the pan handlers and the last time I tried to help them that way. I do have to say there is one pan handler that always makes me laugh. He holds a sign that says I'm being honest here, I just need a beer. I have to give him credit, at least he's telling everyone the truth. He's owned up to the fact that he's possibly an alcoholic and he just needs a drink. I'm sure there will be some people that read my blog that think I'm totally heartless and that I should help the less fortunate and guess what I do. I donated money to Hurricane Katrina, I serve meals at the Youth Homeless shelter, I put money in the Salvation Army kettles, I buy less fortunate children presents at Christmas, I have tutored children to help them with their reading skills...the list is endless. I do have a heart and I do help those in need but I do not feel sorry for driving by the pan handlers begging for change. That is their choice on how they are going to make their way in the world. I chose to work and I work very hard and no one is giving me any handouts because I guess I just don't need them.

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