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Letters to the Editor

Face to face

August 20, 2011

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To the editor:

Thank you, Dan Dimmitt, for your letter about sharing a smile with someone on Mass. Street asking for money. You helped me put into words why I want to share a dollar, even if the dollar might go to something I may view as “wasteful” or “destructive.” My dollar isn’t going to change a life, but genuine eye contact or a shared smile might change an afternoon, for both of us. It’s a beautiful thing, often powerful, when two people acknowledge their shared humanity.

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

If you really want to help a panhandler, tell him "no." If everyone did that, he might try to find a job.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

For someone whining about others not working, cato's day job seems to be sitting on her arse posting right wing b.s.all day everyday.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe he's self employed, so it's his time and his money. Or as jayhawxrok says, "her".

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

You left out at the end, "whenever I look in the mirror."

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Last time he mentioned it, he worked at KU, and had done so for many years.

That might certainly qualify as working for the government.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, whom do you mean? Are you saying that I said I worked at KU?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

That was my understanding of a previous post of yours, yes.

Is that incorrect?

camper 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't know what anyone does for a living on here, but I can say I've know the kind who criticize the government, yet work for the government. Those who criticize entitlements, yet receive them, those who criticize governmental health care yet receive it to keep them alive. Those who say it is thesurvival of the fittest yet take monthly income from family or old money.

I know these kind. And I know them all too well. It is better to give a dime to someone who has an imediate need than one who has found connections of assistance while at the same time cricizing others who need the same help.

I'm gonna say that I will always work as long as my body can knowing that I am not too far away from someone on the street, one illness away from needing help. I know nothing separates.

But what I will not do is allign myself with those who criticize those who need help.

kernal 3 years, 4 months ago

I used to give money to downtown pandhandlers until I found out they were using it to buy booze then passing out in alleyways, under nearby residents porches and garages. Decided the best thing to do was give money to the local organizations that help the homeless rather then be an enabler.

mr_right_wing 3 years, 4 months ago

It seems that would be irrelevant to Sandy. She doesn't believe in judging and will give a homeless person a dollar even if they might use it for something 'destructive.'

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Is this about helping people or about feeling better. Enabling bad behavior whether with a dollar on the street or with large sums of other people's money in a dysfunctional social safety net encouraging dependency is about "self" and not about helping others.

camper 3 years, 4 months ago

Drug addiction, alcoholisim, and mental disorders know no class. People of wealth and people on the street share the same proportions. And why do you separate helping someone from making one feel better. As long as I help someone I feel no regret about feeling better. I'm going to keep on doing it. One should feel no shame about helping someone else. Life is way too short to not take advantage of helping people, and even though this help may be in vain, one should not miss the opportunity to seek connection with others in need.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

I think my contention was that it did not help. Moreover, I do not think it is my job to help you feel better. I feel a responsibility to assist others who are in trouble to return to positive lives. I do not pay for the alcohol - I insist on avoidance. I guess you like happy drunks.

Having known people from our homeless population who died on our streets from overindulgence takes all the happy smiles out of this issue for me. Reality has a nasty way of making things real. Does you theory help much.

goodcountrypeople 3 years, 4 months ago

I've found the homeless way more sincere and godly than the typical Lawrence busybody who has no inhibition or reservations about getting up in strangers' faces in grabby, aggressive ways. Yesterday a delivery person grabbed the mail out of my box, not realizing it was there for the post woman to pick up and send out. The point is it's a federal offense to mess with other people's mail, so why would anyone presume to paw over anyone else's mail? This is the type of perceptive,"helpful" people one meets everyday in the streets of Lawrence though. Decent, legal, respectful boundaries, please. To be useful you have to have your brain in gear, which few in Douglas County do. Such clueless people may have good intentions, but they are based on being brainwashed by unwise parents and a backwoods community, not good judgment or appreciation of anyone's individuality. Obviously, when you're off-base it's offensive. When you say "Happy Hannukah" instead of Merry Christmas" to a stranger you could seem disrespectful. The usual type of presumptuous disrespectful judgment of others by prejudice and stereotypes is way worse than that in Lawrence. People here miss way more than they hit the ball. It's offensive that such uncultured people see themselves as so entitled to bother others in a lame attempt at being friendly, or worse yet, demanding in the name of God to be appreciated as "helpful." Down with street harassment and sidewalk terrorism.

uncleandyt 3 years, 4 months ago

Homeless people now come in all shapes and sizes. We arrive nowhere from a wide variety of backgrounds. "Some of them are old. Some of them are new. Some of them will turn up when you least expect them to, but when they do...", don't freak out. They are humans. Up, up with people. You meet them wherever you go. Up, up with people. They're the best kind of folks to know. If more people knew more people like people everywhere there'd be a lot less people to worry about and a lot more people who cared. or something

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