Thursday went from threatening...
To downpour. Then back again.
This lady sat at her spot on the highway off-ramp, apparently the whole time. She was completely soaked. An equally soaked cardboard sign was propped up against her, asking for money. She was just staring at the ground.
My views on life, morality, and society in general are definitely not of the bleeding heart variety.
I'm lucky. I realize that. Most Americans are. Maybe I'm selfish, spoiled, shallow, or stupid. Maybe I don't fully understand the tragedy of homelessness. But I'm sure giving money to people who don't really need the handout, makes them weaker, and dependent. As a rule I don't give money to panhandlers, I will occasionally donate to street performers, though.
Some people of course, for reasons mental or otherwise, are truly incapable of supporting themselves. They really are weak and dependent. For those people, there are government programs, welfare assistance, personal and religious charity. Those programs and contributions are in place to ease their suffering. Noble causes.
But I always wonder how many abuse the programs and charity. How many have used them as a crutch? How many have out and out stolen from them? How many don't really need them.
More questions: How does a homeless person with all their mental faculties get to where they are? Can it happen to me or anyone? Should we pity and help the ones who just made all the wrong decisions in life? Should we feel guilty if we don't? Do we really help them, just to ease our own sense of guilt?
And also, do the homeless ever get back on track? Are they doomed?
P. Mastrangelo of the blog 'Northamptonist' took a step towards understanding the homeless, by paying them a visit:
Meantime, on the other side of the tracks...guilt-free, by the way...
Northampton is slowly starting to wind up for the Christmas season. Lighted banners are starting to pop up along the streets. They usually have most of the trees festooned with lights during the winter, also. I haven't seen any this year yet. But it's not even Thanksgiving.
It's coming, don't you worry...
Even the samurai are getting into it.
The store 'Faces' knows what the Holidays means for the average consumer; more STUFF to buy.
They do have some ingenious displays...