Random Quotage

A friend has a column on Wired News today about giving spare change to a homeless guy and about the debate, within and without, that goes along with that act:

“Slipped a homeless guy a buck the other day. After he mumbled off down the street, my companion sniffed her disapproval: ‘It only encourages them, you know. And he’ll just use it for drugs or alcohol.’

“I had looked him squarely in his gimlet eye. I could smell his breath. Safe to say she was right.

” ‘Who the hell cares what he uses it for?’ I said. ‘If it kills the pain for a few hours, I’m happy to help. …’ ”

In any case, it’s not an only-in-San Francisco story. I go back and forth on this whole thing myself. But I always have Walt Whitman’s take in the back of my mind:

“Love the earth and sun and animals,

Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,

Stand up for the stupid and crazy,

Devote your income and labor to others …

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *