For once, this will not be a snarky rant. It’s more of a soul searching conundrum I find myself dealing with on a daily basis. Like many people, I live in the suburbs and work in the city. The city is Portland, Maine. It is a small city compared to Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. but it’s big enough that I find myself encountering needy and homeless people every day. I am constantly giving people money either on my way to work (on the street) or on my way home from work (on the medians). My parents approve since they are generous people and raised me to be that way too.
However, I’ve had multiple people ask me why I’m contributing to other people’s drug and alcohol problems and call me a sucker. This is my response to that:
- I have the money. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t give it away.
- I don’t know what their stories are. I don’t ask. It’s none of my business.
- I like to share what I have.
- I honestly believe we could all be in their shoes much more easily than we think.
And yes, I saw that episode of Shameless where Frank used his son and a ‘Homeless Vet’ sign to try and get money from people for another bottle of booze to drown himself in. I realize there are some people doing that in reality. I’m just not willing to judge who is doing that and who isn’t. I help people who need help. If that makes me a sucker, then I’m a sucker. It’s my money. I’ll piss it away if I want to.