Thursday, July 07, 2005
we're not lookin' fer charity, we're lookin' fer justice


Susan's post about giving money to strangers at Sisters-in-Blog made me think about the handouts I've given. The first guy I gave money to was asking a crowd of people for change as we came out of a concert (The Kinks, I think). He was tall and had shaggy dark hair and everybody just rolled past him. I felt guilty and turned around and gave him the money in my pockets, change and few bills. He may have just been out of it, but he gave me the most bewildered look. He seemed surprised and maybe even a little ashamed to have this scrawny 15 year old take pity on him.

When I was 17, I saw a guy by a beat up car holding up a sign that said, "Will work for food." There was a girl in the car not too much older than me and a boy in a diaper who looked to be about one. I hadn't cashed my payday check yet, so I turned around and headed to the bank. I came back and gave them $20. It was summer and it was hot and they looked desperate. The girl gushed, "God bless you." Then, a man in a truck came up and told the guy about a farm he could work at and I left. That was the only time I saw someone begging in my hometown. I wonder what happened to them.

Probably the same year my friends and I went to see Suicidal Tendencies at First Avenue. Some punk named Ratboy bummed $20 off of me, but I only gave it to him because he intimidated me and I didn't really know how to say no. That irritates me.

When we lived in Salt Lake, a guy jumped out at me in the Smiths parking lot right after I opened my car door and asked for money. He freaked me out so I gave him a couple of bucks. But, if David had been there, I'd have totally shined him on.

I've given small change and a few dollars here and there, but usually I don't give handouts anymore. In high school and college I did because I wanted to help, but I don't think I really did. Now I prefer to give to an organization that will help out.

Once we had a girl come up to us in Albertson's parking lot and ask for money because she was hungry. We offered her some groceries, but she said she didn't have a way to cook anything. We looked in the bag and pulled out fruit and bread, but she didn't want it. She got angry and walked off. I don't think she was looking for justice.
posted by lochan | link
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Name: Laura

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