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Unmade Money

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As I pass the homeless man on the high street, some inner urge commands that I drop a couple pounds into his outstretched hand.
He makes no sound, no noise of appreciation, but if he had made some grateful gesture I would not have known for I did not bother to look him in the face as I passed.
As I walk briskly away, a feeling of self-disgust wells up inside me. What was that money doomed to be spent on? Vodka? Chips? What foolish mistake, crime committed, or simple lack of effort put that homeless man where he is now?
He was not born homeless, he grew up in a family, he had all the same opportunities as I have before me. He has no home, no job, no life beyond the street because his mistakes and lack of determination put him there.
I had no fear of sharing his fate. I did my work, I get my grades, and soon I will have a job and earn my pay. Because I will have deserved it.
I knew what to say to the next unshaven non-contributor to society who dared as me for change. And I muttered it under my breath as I walked,
"You reap what you sow, old man."
I remembered, as a kid, wondering how human beings could let poor people exist. Period. But I am older and know better now.
Their is a much easier solution, politically speaking. It has already been achieved.
"Equal opportunities for all."
Near nears another homeless man, who does not even make the effort to ask for money but instead held up a cardboard piece. I could not make out what was written on it. I prepared my retort as I neared him only to read:
"Spare me your coins, I want CHANGE!"



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AasthaD said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 4:09 am:
I love your article, we seem to share the same point of view on this issue. In political science, I studied that social divisions are either by accident of birth or by choice. The rich and poor division can be erased but only when the rich cooperate.
Here, in India, there are so many businessmen and politicians make enormous amounts of money but they hardly pay any tax. The same tax is used for the public. But nothing can be done.
Everything is seen and heard but nobody can raise... (more »)
 
EricBlair replied...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm :
I know- I've from a quite-well off family (with some Indian ancestry) and I find it ridiculous how the rich should feel threatened moves made to close the gap -this is why the libertarians in the US hate Obama so much.
Oh and I am quite embarrassed to acknowledge the grammatical mistake 'Near nears' as opposed to 'Here nears'- why wasn't that caught in submission?
 
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