One of my biggest pet peeves would be people who are faking a part of their life. Specifically, I don’t like people who stand in a heavily crowded place and walk up to certain people asking for money. But they don’t just flat-out ask, no, they tell you a story to appeal to your sympathetic nature and then only ask for a few bucks. No one wants to be conned out of their own money, but I know no one wants to be harsh either. It’s tough to find a balance sometimes. But just handing over money will not help that person, you could offer to take them to a phone or to call someone for them. You could offer them a restaurant gift card for food. We just really need to start discouraging the act of begging on the street. All that time and effort spent begging on the street could be spent at a shelter or at places that are here now just to help people find jobs. There are some many resources available today, that weren’t available 10 years ago.
Last night I went to the movies with my cousin, as we were exiting the theatre (mind you it was almost 10:30 at night) a couple was standing near the front. The guy was smoking and the girl looked to be pregnant. She indicated that her car got towed, that she was six months pregnant and she just needed a little money, like $3 or $5 bucks. We were honest, telling her we didn’t have any cash, she started crying and we apologized then walked away. I wonder who that guy was and why the $5 spent on cigarettes couldn’t be spent towards helping the pregnant woman? Also, why mention you’re six months pregnant when it’s so obvious? Unless you’re trying to play on someones emotions? Something was just off about them, I knew they were probably changing their story with every new person that walked by. They reminded me of this previous encounter I had.
Some years back we were at the mall, at the cheesecake factory for a birthday dinner. My parents went to get the car, as my grandfather was on oxygen at that time and could barely walk. My boyfriend(now my finance) and I sat with my grandfather waiting. Our car pulled up and just before we got in a man came up with stating he and his family were new in town, that they ran out of gas and the car was back at the gas station. They needed money to help pay for gas and some food. My grandfather, being a christen gave him some money and warned him that he hoped he did something good with it. The guy said he was a “christen man”. He walks away and as we’re getting in the car, my boyfriend spots the same guy high-fiving a woman as they used the money to buy 20 ounces of coke and were laughing. My grandfather knew that the man was probably lying but he said he gave him money, because he could. I’ll never forget that, mainly because here is an elderly person with an oxygen tank and you go up and con him? You have to be really messed up to do that.
We should all try to discourage that behavior, but in a safe way. I read in an article and agree that just giving money will not solve or resolve poverty. Education is the answer, telling people where to go or who to speak to. Education on how to properly get a job and to maintain it would be helpful. I believe in people, I have faith in people, then when you see people like that, people who are con-artists you just feel so bad for them. What they’re doing is such a waste of precious time. I hope those people can get help..