Showing posts from May, 2018

Choosing to give

I've found a use for that little pocket-watch pocket in the front of my jeans. Every time I put them on I try to make sure that I have at least two neatly folded bundles of a few dollar bills each. The reason? So that when I come across a panhandler, I have change ready to give them.

Giving money to panhandlers is a habit I've been trying to develop the past few years. Growing up, my training was the complete opposite. My parents thought that the only way to alleviate poverty was via systemic change, through government policies that took care of the needy fairly and equitably, and not through random acts of piety contingent on people's paths crossing. Not to mention that there was no way of knowing how a given individual would misuse the money that we worked so hard for! That's how I learned to quickly look away and ignore the beggar trying to get my attention, and not think too hard (or at all) about the dirty, smelly nuisance disrupting my own busy life and hard-earn…