The Right Thing

I sit here writing this post and I wonder just how many people will be writing posts about poverty for Blog Action Day and yet still ignore a homeless person? I know a lot of you will protest about that point of view. “Hell, it’s just Furie being cynical again.” Want to bet on that? Remember the tsunami a few Christmases ago? The local supermarket by us had buckets at the tills where anyone could donate. Those buckets were full and getting emptied more than once an hour according to the girl at the counter. I stood outside that supermarket before going shopping and afterwards and watched dozens (perhaps hundreds) of shoppers walking past a homeless guy, ignoring him, treating him like he wasn’t even there. The same shoppers who reached deep into their pockets in the store to help when others were watching wouldn’t even look at someone right next to them who was asking for help. Gotta love humanity eh?

“He’ll only spend it on booze/drugs.”, “They’re just ungrateful/lazy.”, “It’s their choice that they’re homeless.”
Things I’ve heard said about beggars this week.

I remember quite a while back I’d moved into a shared house and one of the guys already living there welcomed me to the house with a good (and I mean GOOD) bottle of brandy. We sat up most of the night chatting, smoking and drinking. He told me a little about his life. How he’d been homeless for years, begging for money, scrimping and saving, trying to survive. He made me realise that where I could spend ten to twenty pounds on a week’s food shopping, that wouldn’t really go as far on the streets. Without a roof over his head and somewhere to actually cook food he had to rely on fast food if he wanted it hot. Obviously that costs more than buying something fresh or frozen and cooking it when you get hungry. I learned things like that I’d never realised before about being homeless. And then he thanked me.

Turns out a couple of years before I’d been having a good week at work, gotten a load of tips, and was generally doing quite well for myself. I’d spotted a homeless guy outside McDonalds and not only bought him a meal, but slipped him £50 as well. Now here I was sipping brandy with the same guy, having him tell me how that money had been the final amount needed to get him a place to live. How he’d saved up so much but winter was starting to scratch away at it. How after he’d gotten a place that had lead to a job, and the job had lead to a better place. In the end he’d gotten the biggest room in that house and always wanted to thank the guy who helped him out. And we stayed up all night talking far past the end of that bottle.

Writing a post about poverty helps out very little. Even when masses of us do it, nothing helps as much as actually helping. When you see someone who needs help, don’t ignore them, don’t excuse yourself by convincing yourself they’ll spend it on booze or drugs. Even if someone does make the wrong choice, at least you can do the right thing.


39 thoughts on “The Right Thing

  1. Nice post. It was TV show made by BBC I watched few years ago about reaction of people passing by drunk men, surrounded by empty bottles of beer, crying for help. No one bothered to stop and try to help him. No one for about an hour. It was not real homeless, of course, but an actor taking part in experiment. Then, they put a nice looking girl there, well dressed, faking headache and faintimng. You can bet there were at least two persons in a very first minute, trying to help her.Strange creatures we are.Here, this is a good business. There are some sort of pimps who drive beggars to a different places in town, and in the evening come back to pick them up. And to collect money. I hate to be doublecrossed and even though I feel pity for them, I choose who to give money.

  2. This is a good post. :yes:If I look far enough back in the archive, would I find that you made also made a post last year?

  3. If you can get someone thinking then you can maybe get them to change their minds about their own perceptions. Then just maybe its possible next time they'd not just nod and agree but actively do something..Great story too :up:

  4. The story is wonderful.Unfortunately, over here the "ordinary" homeless people disappear among the begging drug addicts and eastern European organized beggars (this means that "handicapped" people are driven to their spot where they will stand and shake with a paper cup in hand. Unless they are on a ciggie break, when they stand perfectly still…).I'd rather give them food than money too, though. Especially when their sign says "Need money for heroin" :(.

  5. Tell me you're kidding about the signs Rose? :eyes:.I've heard about this Darko. A lot of people mistake them for gypsys who sometimes also do organised begging. The crime gangs are a lot more dangerous though. I saw the same programme about the drunk guy and early twenties girl. Bloody disgusting it was. :mad:.Moe, I can't remember what the last Blog Action Day was so I doubt I was involved. A lot of people get involved in these things because it's a way to get their blog more hits or a way to seem like a nicer person. Me, I'll just do it if it interests me. And having been on the streets myself, I had something to say about it that so many others wouldn't.As for getting people thinking and changing perceptions, I don't think this post is gonna do it, to be honest. If someone can walk past someone who obviously needs their help and blank them, then a post like this isn't gonna even scratch the surface of the fantasy world they've created for themselves. It's a sad fact and stops this being a good post. So thanks for the compliment folks, but they're undeserved with this post.Pick up that head Aadil and tell us why you're feeling shame.

  6. Last year's Blog Action Day was about the environment or global warming or something on that sort of theme. It's a bit embarrassing that I can't remember because I actually made a post that day. :oIt's always interesting to hear the stories told from perspectives that we seldom hear about on those advertisements. :up:[Edit: I just remembered about the "What Kind of Blogger Are You?" test that they were hosting last year. I was going to put it on Blogthingy but it has been subsequently removed. :down:]

  7. Tell me you're kidding about the signs Rose?

    I wish I was… Some have also added "I'm Norwegian" in hopes that passers-by will sympathize more with them than with the organized foreigners…

  8. Ely, they can be recognized by the way they act. "Organized" ones act as they are in office, like in a job – the fact is they are actually working. The real ones are usually quiet, looking at some spot and not necessarily dirty or drunk. And they almost never show their wounds or scars or missing feet/fingers.I must add, this is what I saw so many times in Belgrade. Maybe someone has different experiences…

  9. @ Darko,"Here, this is a good business. There are some sort of pimps who drive beggars to a different places in town, and in the evening come back to pick them up. And to collect money. I hate to be doublecrossed and even though I feel pity for them, I choose who to give money."this reminds me the gypsies in Greece, They use to be organized in groups and they moved from one place to another making a living by begging. I never blamed the beggars. Usually they are controlled by con artists who find the not so bright mentally to use and abuse,or the women that not only have to be out in the cold and rain with small kids to raise money ,if they didn't will be physically abused, I still gave them what I could afford, not to enable the pimp but to make the life of these poor women less abusive :)A sad reminder but still a good feeling of thinking events from back home :)I thank you for it .

  10. Welcome to the centre of my world domination plans, El. I think the start of my post pretty much spells out what I think of everyone being together in this. Unfortunately the majority of people on these sites use things like this as a way to get a link to their page more publically viewed.

  11. thank you for the warm welcome Mik,"Unfortunately the majority of people on these sites use things like this as a way to get a link to their page more publicly viewed."when humanity takes a second place behind ones ego, then the changes for moving forward it will always be delayed. I always believed there is good in every person,it is sad that this good side comes out sometimes by many when in need and or gravely ill.I am glad that there is also a big amount of people that simply are driven to be good and charitable. Some say that it is part of ones DNA to be compassionate, I disagree,any sane person can do his/her part on this .If goodness came out in our every day life, our world would have been so much better.Days like this ,when ones religion,race,age,financial status are not important ,when we all look at a problem and we try to make a difference in our own community and in the world ,I am extremely proud to be part of this family,the Opera family. :heart:

  12. "Sounds like most beggars in your area had hell in the wars, mate."Not only the war itself. 90s were, generally, a hell for ordinary people, a lot of them lost almost everything they had, and pushed at the edge of existence. And living with 20 eur per month received from social security service today is very hard (read: impossible) but back then it was worse, sometimes it was less than 10 DEM per month and few months late. And lot of poor were actually families with kids.In a long run, it would break even a very hard person.

  13. I'm agree. Sometimes ppl only needs a chance, and many of us may help them and we don't do anything. Things don't change just making some noise only for the day, things change with actions, and that's what really matters :up: Congrats for this nice post 🙂 Ppl like you makes a difference.

  14. Bloody hell. Never heard any of this stuff before. All I can just about remember is that there was a war at some point. Can't even remember what about now, so I'll assume America wasn't involved. Hmmm, time for some research methinks.

  15. America was involved. From the very beginning. And especially in 1999.I am sorry to say that, but people here loved America, only 40 years ago. A leader of the so called "free world". Now, there are almost no one left. People here remember for a long time and America will not be able to change that rating for another 30 or 40 years….Just to be precise, when I say "America" I mean "American Government". This has nothing to do with American people.

  16. Was just reading your post Mik.. Wow, home truths.. Got told off for reading it though lol, my teacher nearly sent me out..:right:

  17. You're one of very few people to post about this because they actually have some conviction about it. Most of the posts I've seen just seem to be posted to show everyone else they put something up, to massage their own guilt in some small way.

  18. To massage their egos and visitor count more like. :irked:.Oi, don't go pissing about in lessons then. You're there to learn not to read blogs. 😡

  19. ohhh shush, its only applied forensics!! its not the end of the world, i've lost my voice and I cant call my teacher over to help me, and i swear he's purposely ignoring me now… :furious:

  20. Forensics is probably the only real detective work police do. Although it's usually botched by uniform trashing the crime scene before the real police get there. :whistle:

  21. Forensics is probably the only real detective work police do. Although it's usually botched by uniform trashing the crime scene before the real police get there. :whistle:

  22. I know of several people who use the lottery as an excuse not to give anything else to charity, and charity as an excuse to buy a lottery ticket. They need whacking.

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