Monday, December 27, 2010

I drove past a homeless man on the corner today. He held a sign that read, “Desperate, please help.” Instead of ignoring the man like I might have before I read A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson, I looked at his face. I don’t know his name, but somebody does. Somebody is his mother, his son, his friend.

I like to think that I am a compassionate person, someone who is willing to help others, especially those in dire need. But I hesitate to hand money to a “street person” because of those who take advantage of the good-will of others to feed the addictions that have led them to where they are.

After reading A Beggar’s Purse, I have begun overcoming the stigma that I associate with the homeless. This is a quick read, I finished it in about an hour.

Food to eat while reading: Hobo Waffles
When I started reading Nelson’s memoir, I prepared myself to bristle at being preached to. I relaxed when I found that Nelson has struggled with the same uncomfortable questions that I have when I see the homeless asking for money on a street corner-like why don’t they get a real job?