"Na na, why don't you get a job?" (Homeless Man at the Grocery Store)

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Em_Catz, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Oct 31, 2011

    So I was walking into the grocery store today and I noticed an elderly homeless man holding a sign. Honestly, it annoyed me a little because I don't have much money myself, so I can't afford to give much away. Plus the elderly man "works" several parking lots in the area.

    Normally I either give him money or I just walk by.

    Today was a "just walk by" day. I was almost in the store when I heard a customer yell at the man , "I'm gonna need you to get a d*mn job!" I guess the man didn't hear her or was surprised and said something like, "What?" because she repeated louder and even nastier, "I SAID YOU NEED TO GET YOURSELF A JOB!"

    The woman entered behind me in the store and she was cracking up laughing, a grin from ear to ear and obviously delighted with herself. :mad:

    I am (once again) on the fence here. Yes, it is annoying to have the man standing there bugging you for your spare change, but then I imagine what if that was me? What if that was my father? I am not naive -- I know there are con artists out there who hussle and pretend to be homeless, but even so, what that lady did made my skin crawl. Was it really necessary to yell at him? Why not just say "No" and keep walking?

    Growing up I always used to hear my Dad say, "A lot of people are just a paycheck or two away from being homeless."

    What are your thoughts on the homeless?
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    What that women said was REALLY rude. She has NO clue what is going on in that man's life. He COULD have recently lost his job, his home, etc. He COULD have been suffering from cancer and with no health insurance, lost everything. He COULD have a mental illness. The list can go on and on. Who knows? Either way, if you give, that's fine. If not, then just a polite, "I don't have any change on me, sorry" is enough.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Most of my thoughts are directed at the woman. She's clever. Real clever. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :lol:All I can think is that you have to have reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally low self esteem to feel better about yourself by picking on someone homeless.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Or a really naive view in the world.
     
  7. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Maybe, but she wasn;t (as mom used to say) a spring chicken...this woman had to be pushing at least 40. If she has made it THAT long without experiencing financial hardships or knowing someone who has gone through it. she must indeed be naive and extremely sheltered
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Umm... I could be totally off base there too. It wasn't nice to say the least.
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Average panhandling income = $30 a day. That's like minimum wage circa 1988. My guess is that if the homeless guy could get a job he would get one.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    People don't understand the complexities of poverty, simple as that.
     
  11. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 1, 2011

    "Be Kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" Plato . . . . wouldn't the world be a much nicer place if everyone could remember this . . .
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    She's a bully. She should be ashamed of herself. And, like most bullies, her target was weaker than she.

    Want to be a tough guy??? Say the same thing, face to face, to a 20 something homeless person alone on the street. Write an editorial to the NY Times and sign your name.

    But no, she yelled it at an elderly man and walked into the store. So he feels even worse, and she feels like a real comedian. Real clever, real kind.

    As to the homeless man: "There but for the Grace of God go I."
     
  13. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 1, 2011

    Story I saw years ago:

    I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently
    completed my college degree.

    The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was
    absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human
    being had been graced with.

    Her last project of the term was called "Smile."

    The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document
    their
    reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and
    say
    hello anyway, so, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

    Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest
    son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just
    our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in
    line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began
    to

    back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch ... an
    overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see
    why
    they had moved.

    As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell,and there
    standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the
    short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling". His beautiful sky
    blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He
    said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

    The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his
    friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue
    eyed gentleman was his salvation.

    I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at
    The counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee is all
    Miss" because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in
    the
    restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be
    warm).

    Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost
    reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when
    I
    noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every
    action.
    I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more
    breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to
    the
    table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the
    table

    and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at
    me,

    with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you."

    I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do
    this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope."

    I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.
    When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God
    gave you to me, Honey. To give me hope." We held hands for a moment and
    at
    that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given
    were

    we able to give. We are not church goers, but we are believers.

    That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

    UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

    Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who
    may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE
    THINGS
    AND USE PEOPLE.
     
  14. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Nov 1, 2011

    I'll try to stay as apolitical as possible here but...

    There is a large portion of our population who think that the individual is solely responsible for his or her lot in life. Look at one of our presidential candidates who said "If you don't have a job, blame yourself." Clearly, this woman is not alone in her assertion and many people would be as pleased with her as she is of herself.

    Unfortunately, the truth is that many people try hard and are held back by sudden, unfortunate circumstances like job loss, medical bills, fire, health issues, etc. It's just not as cut and dry as "You don't have a job and therefore you are doing something wrong."
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 1, 2011

    stephen~that story brought tears to my eyes.
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 1, 2011

    Ditto....
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    :yeahthat: I hadn't responded yet because I wanted to make the same point without being political.
     
  18. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 1, 2011

    When I see homeless people, I immediately thank God that I am so blessed that I am not homeless. Then, if I have spare change, I give it to them. I often think of the song by Phil Collins-Another day in Paradise-and I realize that everyone has parts of their life that we are not a privy to knowing. Being kind only takes a moment, but it can change someone's life.
     
  19. XOEmmyLouOX

    XOEmmyLouOX Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2011

    :yeahthat: It is no wonder why people act the way they do when their leaders make those comments. You bring up a good point. How absurd is that idea that not having a job is your fault now-a-days. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had a job that paid more than minimum wage.. :banghead: Yes there are some who choose not to make an effort, but my husband is a laid off welder who has applied to just about every sector, retail, general labor, etc with no luck. Those who pick on the homeless have some serious issues of their own.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, what that lady yelled out was really cruel. Unless someone knows a homeless person's situation, no one knows if the person's homeless due to their own bad choices (drugs, alcohol) or just bad luck &/or rough times due to no fault of their own. I personally don't give $ to homeless people because I don't know if I'm just adding to their drug/alcohol problem. I'd be more inclined to give to the kids I see selling candy bars for their school, etc.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    But I think about the why and how behind their drug or alcohol problem. There is a story there as well. My heart aches for them all.
     
  22. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    True JustMe. I feel pity for them more than anything. For a few seconds of passing by them in my car, I wonder what happened in their lives for them to end up this way. It's a real shame.
     
  23. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Even if a person is homeless because he/she is a drug addict, he still should be shown basic courtesy at the least and hopefully the love and compassion anyone deserves.

    A lot of people don't realize how many of our homeless have some sort of untreated mental illness, too. My aunt has schizophrenia, and a few years ago she had a bad episode. Before any of us could get to her to help her, she had jumped in her car and started driving. We started getting phone calls from her and her dog as she drove all through the southeast. THANKFULLY police in Arkansas stopped her, realized something had to be wrong, did a little investigative work and we were able to get to her and get her medicated. If the police hadn't found her, she would have undoubtedly ended up living on the streets somewhere.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Unless and until I'm the one at the pearly gates, deciding who gets in to heaven, it's not my job to second guess anyone else's "bad choices."

    That homeless guy isn't doing me any harm. I don't care whether he is homeless because of his "bad choices" or because of circumstances beyond his control; it's not my job to judge him. The reality is that he's cold and hungry.

    If you choose not to give money to the homeless, I've never met one who turned down a Big Mac or a slice of pizza.
     
  25. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Alice .... :thumb:
     
  26. Learner4Life

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    Alrighty, I guess I get to be the bad guy here. I don't agree with what the woman said. A polite "no, I don't have spare change" would be fine. However, I do refuse to give my spare change to the beggars on the street. I feel like our town has plenty of resources that will help you out if you are in need and begging on the street causes for unsafe conditions. I give to the organizations that help those less fortunate.

    My biggest peeve, however, is when they are begging and they have a pet with them OR they are smoking.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It actually...I don't know...I've seen photographs of homeless with abandoned or unwanted animals, and it brings my heart happiness that two souls can support each other as they do. I am not naive enough to believe every situation is a "heartwarming" story of survival or companionship or what have you, but I think we can learn from the loyalty demonstrated by those animals.
     
  28. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    That's how I've seen it too, JustMe.
     
  29. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Nov 9, 2011

    When I was about 13 years old, my father and I ended up being homeless for about 3-6 months. We first lived in "okay" hotels, and moved from hotel to hotel as money got scarce, until we ended up in a really scary hotel in town. We eventually stayed with relatives who were poor in their own right, and in a tiny studio apartment that barely had room for a bed in it, two adults slept in a bed, and three other people, myself included, slept on the floor. We did that for about two months before we finally were able to find some place of our own to live. I can tell you, it sucked.

    About 6 years later, a cousin of mine also ended up homeless. He lived out of his car, and parked it in the same spot every night so that we could find him if we needed to (this was before everybody had cell phones). He had a minimum wage job, and didn't make enough to afford a place to stay, so he lived out of his car. It sucked. I too, lived out of my car for about a month or so in my early 20s. It sucked, but you do what you have to do. For the record, my cousin, myself, nor my father are drug users, have mental illness, etc. We just grew up poor and hit some tough times. It happens. It can happen to anyone.


    on a different note, when I lived with my mother (who was also pretty poor), some homeless guy used to come around with his little dog (his only companionship in his life) collecting cans to recycle. My mother used to save all the aluminum cans from our apartment and would give them to him whenever he came around. He was so, so grateful every time she did, and always thanked her profusely, saying stuff like "This will feed me for the week, thanks..." Then, one day, he came around and my mom brought out the cans for him, and he refused them that day, saying he just came around to give her something. He had saves some of his money to buy her a small potted plant and gave it to her, to show his appreciation. I was about 12 years old, and never forgot that. To this day, I save my recyclables and never recycle them myself. I either give them to one of the homeless guys when I hear them walking down the street, or I bag them and leave them sitting outside of the trash bin, so they don't have to go digging in the trash to find them.


    My point, I guess, is that we don't know these homeless people. We don't know what has happened to them, if they are nice people, if they have mental illness, or if they are completely happy living the way they are. It's rare that anyone takes the time to know them, yet so many of us are so quick to make our snap judgements about them.
     
  30. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Tears in my eyes Sam! What powerful lessons!
     
  31. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    My brother (rip) used to give them money all the time.
    I have given them jackets, clothes food etc.
    JNLYBJ
     
  32. bizzbeth125

    bizzbeth125 Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2011

    I was raised by a mom who handed out warm socks and homemade cookies to homeless people on the street corners in the winter. My grandma gives McDoald's coupons. We've been discouraged by people who refuse these gifts and ask for money instead but most are extremely appreciative. :)
     
  33. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    A friend of mine's mom runs a soup kitchen. My friend keeps blankets, bottles of water, and fliers with shelter numbers in her car. I have been with her on multiple occasions where she will pull over when she sees a homeless person (always in well lit areas), give them what they need, just sit and talk to them for a minute, and try to get them to call a shelter. She had even pulled out her cell phone and called for someone to get them if they wanted. She is an incredibly giving person.
     
  34. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 13, 2011

    WOW! I did not realize this forum was still going. Been off for awhile due to an upper respitory infection.

    My pastor used to do that...he would give out McDonald's coupons or other fast food joints. Or he would tell the person to come with him and choose a warm meal. Personally being a young, single woman, I would not feel safe having a stranger follow me even into a very public place to purchase them food, but I think it's wonderful those people who do.

    If I were to lose my job and had no parents or boyfriend or someone willing to take me in (which would be a struggle because most of my friends either live in teeny, 1 bedroom or efficiencies or back home with their parents) I would be homeless.

    People always think they'll just get another job or they can just stay with a friend, but think about it --- times are tough. Unless it's someone you really care about, can you afford to have an adult living at your house, not paying rent, eating your food, watching your television, etc for 2 -3 months or more?

    As much as I love my friends, I wouldn't be able to afford to put someone else up because sometimes I can barely afford to do the things I need to do and its only me.

    :2cents:
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    We've been known to order a pair of Big Mac meals and walk them outside to the homeless person.

    They've never complained about the choice.
     
  36. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    So many really good posts on this thread! Where's the d*mn 'Like' button??
     
  37. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 15, 2011

    :rofl: HA!
     

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