Free Hand Outs

I have to admit that I am not one of those people who easily buys into people standing on the corner with signs begging for money or their stories of woe about running on hard times. This persepctive changes, of course, if children and/or animals are involved as they are innocent but for the most part my belief is that beggers are able-bodied individuals who choose not to work because begging is easier. I recognize our country is in a bit of a crisis right now, so some leway should be given, but it seems there are some very dishonest people in Tucson who will gladly take advantage of kind-hearted, hardworking people.

I will give four examples:

1. A woman on the corner of Tanque Verde and Grant was claiming she was destitute and hungry while carrying a purse worth more than my Coach bag. I wonder how she got that? Perhaps because she is not destitute nor poor?

2. Wednesday of this past week my sister and I got out of the car at Bookmans when we were immediately accosted by a woman, who was smoking a cigarette, claiming that her wallet had just been stolen and she needed $2 for the bus. My sister, the kind-hearted and sometimes naive soul, immediately opened her wallet and gave the woman what she was asking for. I will admit that she walked towards the bus stop, although I cannot confirm she actually boarded the vehicle.

3. Immediately after the woman had accosted us, a man came up to us asking for cigarettes or money. In this case I am guessing he saw my sister's generosity and decided to cash in. Neither of us had any remaining money, so he walked away empty handed. I did, however, recommend he ask the woman who my sister just gave money to for cigarettes as she is too poor to afford the bus but can afford a pack of cigarettes.

4. Today hubby and I went to Taco Bell where we were cornered in the parking lot by a man with Down Syndrome who said he, too, needed money for the bus. Hubby immediately gave him a $1, which was all he had, and we went inside. A few moments later the man came inside and ordered food with the money rather than take the bus.

I suppose the root of my frustration with all of the above examples is the lie. Don't lie to me and tell me you need the money for the bus when really you are hungry! Why lie? Just say you're hungry! Don't lie and say you lost your wallet when really all you need is some drugs! Don't lie and say you need money for cigarettes when you really are going to buy booze! Just be honest!

I would much rather give money to someone who tells me the truth.