A Roadside Sign

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.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “A Roadside Sign

  1. Julie Fisher

    THIS is undoubtedly the greatest single thing you’ve written (according to me) on this blog, Cindy. ‘Nuff said. . .it’s beautiful. Thank you.

  2. hereinfranklin

    Julie…you are very good for my ego. Thank you.

  3. Niece Lash

    I second that.

  4. totally with you on that … I keep a dollar in my wallet all the time at the chance to give it to someone who’s homeless.

    one time I was on the ramp coming off 40W onto Broadway. and a man was standing there on the corner asking for help. so I gave him my dollar. and then I looked in the rear view window and instead of folks pipping at me cause I was taking so long, I saw three other arms outstretched with dollards in their hands.

    people are people, homeless or not. Everyone needs a dollar. don’t think it’s the dollar actually it’s the giving and it’s the seeing.

    you rock! yay for dollars.

  5. Do you ever notice that the rule we have for how we deal with people who are in a tough spot is always “tough love”?

    Maybe tough love works. Maybe ignoring someone long enough would inspire them to go out and make something of their life. I seriously doubt that it’s an effective plan.

    Good that you give. That’s cool.

  6. There’s a guy in San Francisco who is hands down my all time favorite beggar.

  7. hereinfranklin

    Rassles–thanks for the link. I’d definitely throw him some $$. And thanks for reading, too.

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