Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Moral Dilemma

I have a lengthy commute each day to and from work. I traverse both interstates and many city streets. Over the years the number of street corner folks begging for money has increased dramatically. Lord only knows what troubles and tribulations have befallen these poor people.


But now I am in a dilemma. A very good friend of mine says that I am doing more harm to these unlucky souls by giving them money.

He adds that most are drug addicts and I am just helping their habit along. He suggests the best way to help them is by not giving them money, hoping they reach rock bottom, and then seek help. 

My upbringing however taught me to help people in need. But its just getting harder and harder to differentiate between the real needy and the street corner scammers/addicts. So what do you do? Give and let live, or drive by and say good-bye?


16 comments:

  1. Phil, what some of my friends at the Miami Rescue Mission do is carry some bottles of water and some snacks and when they are approached they give them water and a snack.

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  2. That is a good idea. I'll start doing that!

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  3. Well I always think "what if this is Jesus?" He would want you to do good and no matter what the person does with it is their choice aleast you know in your heart out was for good intentions...

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    1. "The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding."

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  4. I agree with what the person above said..

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  5. I too have noticed the increased number of people asking for financial help. My gut feeling is that many if not most are legitimately down on their luck. I believe them. So I give what I can. Yes, I see some regulars that have chosen to scam the kindhearted. Maybe I'm duped or maybe I made a small difference. I just refuse to be hardened.

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  6. As you have all stated, we can all use a little more kindness.

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  7. Don't let other people's cynicism change your heart. If you can be kind on a lengthy commute.... that says alot about you!

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  9. I come from a country where there is no assistance from the government at all. There are hundreds of homeless people, handicapped people, older people who cannot get a job because they are discriminated against and there are no laws to protect them. Yet you see these people on street corners, in a wheelchair; and they offer to clean your windshield, selling flowers, fruit, newspapers; juggling, doing something to survive. We live in a country where there are plenty of opportunities and assistance for the needy. Yet these people choose to stay in this situation because they know they can make a living out of it. I know that if it came to it, I would be knocking door to door begging for people to let me clean their toilets, I would do anything to get out of my situation. It makes me sick to see two different types of people next to each other on corners; one who is under the sun selling flowers or another one who makes shifts out of just standing there with a "witty" sign to get money from working people. Yes, you give money and you encourage this lifestyle; if there was no profit they would not be there. God gave us hands and feet to work, it is written “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3...so I doubt Jesus would be begging for money.

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  10. Phil,

    The people are junkies. I work in Downtown Miami sometimes and I used to work in Downtown Detroit. The folks are on drugs and are on booze and are taking your hard earned money and getting stoned.

    Give to a charitable organization that is actually working with folks trying to get on their feet. Handing money to them while they work the corners isn't going to help them at all.

    BTW, can you spare me a 50 for lunch tomorrow?

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  11. Some of these people panhandling on the streets are victims of human trafficking. The money they receive is taken away from them by their captors. These captors use the money for other criminal activities.
    You can also find these victims most of them young women as young as 13 - 14 years of age dancing in strip clubs or sold into prostitution.

    Please be aware before you pass judgement. Some of these people are victims who were abducted from their homes and families.

    Something needs to be done.


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  12. There is a few that station along the big intersections around where I live here in Miami and they have been in those corners FOR YEARS. I am not saying they are being dishonest. Maybe they tried getting a job but no one will employ them because they are too old or unskilled, so one of these guys, a man in his 60s or 70s been in the same corner ofr 9 years or more with the same I LOST MY JOB SIGN and who am I to tell him to get a job when I find myself unemployed for over a year and have a profession? Since I can't really donate, I waive at him, or them or whoever is asking for money, they usually wish you a happy they as they walk by, and that seems to be OK with them. So if you feel compelled to give, then give, if you can't, then wave goodbye, what they do with the money is not for you to judge. Your employer doesn't expect you to spend your money a certain way, get it?

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    1. ...they usually wish you a happy ***Day***

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