I met a beggar along the side of a road today and it made me stop and examine my life. Here was a man who claimed to be college educated, once having a family, and now, he sits on the street in a worn out suit begging for money to eat/drink.
After giving him a 20.00 dollar bill, I asked him how he arrived at this point. In a somewhat drunken voice he said that he had started drinking while working for a high tech firm, and that the day to day pressures caused him to drink.
He claimed he was once married with 4 children, had a house, and lost it all to the drink. When asked if he wanted me to take him to a shelter, he looked up at me with sad drunken eyes, and said, “Lady if I could start all over gain I would, but it’s just too late.”
I left and continued on my way, but I have never forgotten his words. I thought to myself, 2 years ago, this could have been ME had I not sought help. It could have been ME down in that street begging for handouts as the population just passed me by.
I realize that not all of the street beggars are alcoholics, some are junkies, and some are even mentally impaired. It just grinds away at me that Human beings who have started out like us all have sunk to this level of degradation.
Of course, there are shelters, clinics, etc. that can treat these folks, it’s just that MANY of them don’t WANT the help. It’s a shame really, as there are so many good and free programs available. My heart goes out to them as; once again, I realize that I too could have become them.
The next time you see a poor soul on the street, please dig into your wallet and give what you can, it may be providing them with enough sustenance (Sure, Booze too), to live another day. Please be kind and your life will be rewarded 10 fold. Thank you.