Personally I don’t run around telling people to get jobs. Even though I wish they would. I sometimes marvel at the fact that someone will be standing on a corner with a sign for eight hours begging for cash among a hundred businesses. I wonder to myself if they have applied to all of them, to some of them, or to none of them. I’ve been tempted to gather up applications from the area and hand them off to the beggar with an ink pen.
Then there are the stories of beggars who make enough money for a home and car and treat it as their job. They have been filmed on hidden camera wandering off to a nearby parked car, heading home and leaving again well dressed for a night out.
Each person, I feel, should make the choice to give or not for themselves. I’m not sure how we have come to a place as a society where we almost elevate the homeless and the panhandler to a sacred status. I’m tempted to blame Christianity for this but the bible clearly states that if a man won’t work he shouldn’t be allowed in the community and not be given bread. The beggar who is lame, blind, or otherwise unable to work is a different matter. But the man who can work but doesn’t, well, why should we give to him day after day? So perhaps it’s not so much Christianity as it is one version of it.
I think you all have seen the young man with a sign. He looks to your eye healthy and strong, young and able. But there he is begging. Why? Is it really because there are no jobs or is it because he doesn’t want the jobs that are available? I can’t answer that for him of course, I can’t judge the content of his heart but in a way I have to. I can’t go around giving everyone cash, I simply don’t have enough of it myself to do that. Nor do I think this is desirable for our society.
Work is beneficial to the human psyche. It’s a fact that a proper amount of work makes for a more healthy mental state. Too much work, of course, is not good, but in like manner too little work robs a person of something important to their well-being. Do get a job. Even if it’s not a great job, get one. Standing at the side of the road with a sign is a waste of your potential to a far greater degree than a McDonald’s job would be. Though we like to say that such people rely on the kindness of strangers the truth is they rely on the guilt of strangers. Be honest, how many times have you positioned your car so the beggar is in your blind spot? The left seems to have a blind spot to the beggar as well which gives them protected status. No, I don’t go around telling people to get a job, but I think it.
Charles Logan’s protest of panhandlers has brought a few altercations — including one on Friday that involved Omaha police.