There are countless studies out there that say homeless folks are unseen, so I go out of my way to say hello and be polite. Like I said, I give when I have.
But I got played.
On my way home Friday a well dressed older man asked, “Can I get a dollar for the train? I am just trying to get home.”
He asked for one, so I gave him one...
He then said “just two more and I am there.”
I expected him and another person to get in the subway with me. But I heard him continue his lines.
I was played. But what should I expect?
All around us we are hit by false advertisements:
Eat all you want, stay thin!
Buy this cream look 10 years younger!
Wear these shoes have mad game!
So why am I surprised when a man asking for money on the street will lie to me?
I suppose I hope those in need would be honest when asking me for some of my money. But that is the nature of the economy we have created and continue foster. We all wonder why people don’t just get a job. It would be naive to say all progressives or liberal would be willing to stand up for those who don’t work and pay the way to for there homelessness.
It would not only be naive it would be wrong. Maimonides taught that to give a person a lone or help with a business deal to allow an individual to be self sufficient is the highest level of Tzedakah. Additionally it is fair to say that most if not all homeless folks don’t want to be homeless and don’t want to take handouts.
This week I am going to dedicate to poverty in New York City. While I know there isn’t anyone all that interested in what I have to say, it will make me think differently about the fact that I am wearing a suit and tie to work, sleeping in a warm bed and eat three meals a day (if not more, but I am not staying thin).