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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!"