Relief For A Bum

June 15, 2010

I gave a bum, five dollars today while he was digging through a dumpster to find something to eat. As I was walking towards him I wondered why should I give him any money at all? After he takes the money and uses it towards whatever he needs at the moment he’ll be back on the street begging for money again. Some will take pity and drop a penny in his cup, or a nickel, maybe a dime and hopefully a quarter or more. Others will pay him no attention or mock him because of his appearance and worn down clothing. Some will run from him like they run from their biggest fears or stare at him like a creature from a horror movie. He will return to digging through trash for sustenance, sleeping through a scorching hot July in his tan jacket and worn out blue jeans on an even hotter pavement. He will have no sustained happiness, no hope, nothing. He will continue to have no identity and we will forget about him ten seconds after we pass him on the corner. I thought about all of this and still reached into my pocket and handed him a five dollar bill. I could’ve used that five dollars on some wings, beer, condoms or other weekly vices that I take for granted, but instead I gave it to him. He needed it more than me. Even though the relief it will bring him is only temporary, it’s a welcomed break from his daily routine.

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