Ever noticed that people nowadays walk around with an iPod and an iPhone? Some even have two cellphones. They wear the gold jewelry (hovering over $2000 an ounce), nice flashy watches, and $150 tennis shoes. But when they walk past a person with their hands out, not a damn penny falls out of their pockets.
I wrote about this recently, but not on this blog though. I don’t like unregulated welfare nor leeches, but if someone is hungry, I’ll toss a few dollars their way. Being raised middle-class, I’ve basically never had to starve. There are times when I chose to but money was never that tight to warrant an actual encounter with hunger. I used to get a lot of crap in school. “Wow, a dollar donation? You’re so rich.” Rich is grossly exaggerated, as if I’m some millionaire in a small suburban town.
Not knowing how they live day-to-day does not mean I cannot understand. Note that I’m empathetic, not sympathetic. Sympathy does nothing to me, and I could keep on walking without anything. But empathy makes me stop, look at how messed up the streets are, and show a little compassion. I wouldn’t want anyone to live like that, nor would I want it to be a part of the future.
If I worked, I wouldn’t hoard so much of my income. I’d support the arts, the literacy programs (three R’s is a disgrace), and whatever else I believe in. Money, if you get past its role as a medium of exchange, is worthless. Printed paper backed up by shit (just ask Bernanke). When that dreadful day comes when the world economy collapses, we’ll all be trading commodities. And wouldn’t it nice to know that the guy you helped out years ago still remembered you and is not charging you your first-born child for a gallon of water?
And besides, if people stopped buying the $4 coffee, then maybe a dollar can be shared with another person. Maybe if the wealthy bastards took a basic money management course, they wouldn’t be up their necks in debt. No pity towards any of them.”I’m making $200,000 but in terrible debt.” Screw you. I don’t care where you live or what it costs for your lifestyle; you brought it upon yourself.
Spread the wealth because a country is only as rich as its poorest person. That’s the idealist in me, even though I side as a realist. I never expected to see so much homeless people in San Francisco, who seem to be mentally ill and unable to even apply for a job. If there was a fund to take of these people, put them in a place to get well or manage by with medication in order to be self-dependent, I’d support that. But I don’t trust those funds because some bastards might funnel money away from the generous contributions from people who care for another human being.
It all comes back to greed. The rich fuckers will take our money but not release a dime of their own. These people with money don’t give a damn about other people. Of course I feel a little better and pompous after tossing the homeless guy a dollar, but what drives me is knowing that he (mainly males) will not have to starve tonight. Be it a cheeseburger or some Jack Daniels, he’ll be slightly better off.
Ego-driven? Yes, but I seek progression. And it’s better to give a little to them than be mugged and lose a lot. Money is easy to replace; blood is not.