I said it.
And I declare it again even more Shamelessly than before.
There was a time before where I felt it a personal duty to mankind to effect change with my, spare change. But the events of today have lead to a re-appropriation of charity.
Once again. The cool night's air blows, and the Vagabond sits reading. A familiar face. Mr. Crossfire. He introduces to another. Mr. Timmy Chan.
Mr. Chan begins to discuss with the me the lucrative business of scrap metals and recycling, and I find his ideas stimulating. We exchange information, and continue to dialogue on the structures of economies and exchange.
A woman walks by with a child. Moments later. A man. As a sign of community I nod my head, but to my horror he stops.
"I don't know if my wife asked you already, but we're trying to get five dollars so we can get gas to get home," says the shameful vagabond.
He was lying. I knew he was. But I couldn't help myself. 5 dollars to the man bold enough to ask.
With the enlightening exchange with Mr. Chan resonating in my thoughts I drive home with the aura of possibility. But the memory of the shameful vagabond wont give me rest. So much, so that I think I see him at the bus stop.
What the Hell.
It IS him.
After briefly mediating on turning around and demanding my money back, I pray for peace. Calm down.
But the experience still had its effect.
What does the giving of 5 dollars profit society? A momentary personal appreciation, and an ideal sense of Samaritan. But once the "homeless" person spends the money they're going to need more.
Another day. Another dollar.
Has society failed systematically to provide fiscal avenues, or is it the mere personal entitlement to shameful charity that justifies the vagabond? Holistically it's more beneficial to better multiple individuals for everyone sake. Institutionally, "homeless" persons should have havens of REAL charity. 5 dollars won't fix their long term issues. They must have education, opportunity and job training to alter their liability label.
Despite my views of the capitalist dogma, this is its benefit. People don't have to carouse the streets of favelas and slums. If nothing else they can shovel unhealthy food at a local fast-food joint.
The state of true homelessness is highly circumstantial, and some good people have suffered the balance of fate. But if everyone who gave 5 dollars to a shameful vagabond invested it in a community based initiative aimed at rebuilding lost lives there would be less mouths to feed, and more to feed mouths.