A couple of days ago I saw an unfamiliar sight as I exited the interstate near my home–two homeless men standing at the top of the ramp. One of them was holding a cardboard sign. I figured it was of the “will work for food” or “homeless veteran” variety. But this one was different.
I won’t lie. I need a beer.
If the light had been red, I probably would’ve tossed him a couple of dollars right then and there for honesty and creativity. After all, it was nearly 6 p.m. and I needed a beer myself. But it was green, so I sailed on through.
You could say that the guy should get a job and quit begging. You could say that he’s probably a bad person and deserves to be sitting on the side of the road. All that could be true.
Who knows what circumstance brought him to this point. I doubt it was his childhood ambition to beg for beers on the side of the road. Just like the guy I see around my office sometimes. He always asks for money, and if I have a dollar in my pocket, I give it to him. I know people say you shouldn’t do that–that you’re just enabling their antisocial behavior. But just seems like the right thing to do.
Besides, he always says “God bless you.” So in the long run, I’m getting alot more out of the encounters than he is.