February 26, 2008
By Chelsea Swiggett, Avon Lake, OH

No one is ever satisfied. Most people have desirable clothing, food in plenty, and numerous other amenities. Yet they yearn for the thing's they lack. Something always catches their eye, such as the latest form of technology, or the new style of dresses on the store mannequin. Once they've obtained these material objects, they strive for greater and better things, leaving the old bits and pieces behind. These types of people rarely think about the one's that long, crave, and ache for the simple comfort of a bed or a few stray coins.


"Please, sir." I begged, hobbling over to a man in a business suit and extending my hand. The man looked over my rags and knotted hair in disgust, and power walked in the opposite direction.

Whether he thought I was asking for the money to buy alcohol or drugs, I do not know. This was the usual stereotypical consensus about the homeless. My heart wrenched, as it had done frequently, at the seemingly cold and black heart of the man, walking quickly away, as if I would leech onto him and demand money at gunpoint.

Could he really not spare a quarter, nickel, or dime? Was it that hard to reach into his pocket and pull out his spare change? The reasons behind his cruelness I could not see, as it would take a leap into his mind. Which I, unfortunately, do not have the power to do.

Yet many people find it difficult to spare something for those in want. Irregardless of their reasoning, a quarter deceased from their person would hardly change their life; yet it would make every difference to the poor.

I silently noted the pitiless, and the openhanded. What, in their minds, made the decision to give or keep? Could it be ignorance? Perhaps if the keepers were more knowledgeable of the discomforts of the homeless, they would be more willing to give.

Or maybe they were scared of the unsanitary way the poor looked. Could they be prejudiced against us because of our appearance? As if we chose of our own free will not to take showers? As if we enjoyed wearing the same clothes every day?

I thought about the man in the business suit going home to a nicely proportioned meal, watching television with a full stomach, before going to bed on a comfortable mattress. And he would do this without any sense of gratitude, while I lie with my head pressed against the cement, with only a meager ration of stale bread in my stomach.

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