13 Jul “Stop going behind my back to grab more bags of digital.papitas!”, I exclaim, “you can have as many as you want, yo–it’s fine.”
“I feel greedy, yo”, Bilta replies as he pulls the bag of digital.papitas out of his pants.
He opens his jacket and three more bags fall out on to the floor in my living room. He takes off his trucker hat and another two more bags fall to the ground.
“Is that all?”
“One moment”, he replies as he takes off the shoe on his right foot and pulls out another bag.
“There”, he replies as he looks down at the floor, “that’s all of them.”
“There’s none in your bookbag, yo?”
Bilta sighs; he opens his bookbag and pulls out five more bags of digital.papitas.
“That’s all of them”, he replies as he turns his head to look out the window.
“Bilta–you’re a hoarder.”
“I am not”, he replies as he turns his head back to me, “it’s for a friend.”
“I feed the homeless with the extra bags of potato chips that are laying around here, yo.”
“So”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “they aren’t just laying around–you took them out of the box on the kitchen table. I bought them and they will be eaten by me and HR. We love potato chips but that’s a conversation for a different time. All the same, we don’t feed the homeless.”
“You don’t help?”
“We provide jobs, mental health support and free housing to get people on their feet”, I respond as I sigh, “you are only making a problem–not fixing anything. The only real support and assistance that people need is indirect–direct help makes people weak. Indirect helps people gain confidence, trust in themselves and a positive sense of self; if you constantly tie a person’s shoe, they will forget how to do it themselves. We use games like sudoku to challenge people mentally to improve their cognitive abilities–free food is easy. It creates dependency; we want independence and interdepence. That is the real goal–it’s why we don’t just do things for people. We help the weak, as the strong, as they need–not as we need.”
“Can I give a couple bags of potato chips out?”, Bilta replies as digital.Bilfty2.1 enters the kitchen.
“One bag is too many; one handout is a slap down.”
“So don’t help, yo?”, Bilfty2.1 replies as he grabs a bag from the box on the table.
“No”, I reply as I shrug, “it’s not your problem or mess to clean up. By the time that someone gets to that point, it’s too late. Start right now treating people with respect, as your policy, and you’ll see less people on the streets, later. You don’t spontaneously appear there; there’s a lot of factors, prior, that lead to that. It’s a downward spiral at the bottom that is really, best, and only, appropriate to deal with by a professional pyschiatrist.”
“I could go draw pictures with them to help improve self-worth.”
“It’s better for a homeless person to go to jail or a mental istitute where they are equipped to deal with that problem, then a soup kitchen or shelter. It’s best, if you help at all, to take them straight to the place that deals, regularly, with that issue. Save a couple bags of potato chips in your bookbag to give as you take a person to the police or a hospital, as a snack; but, don’t sustain someone’s existance on crumbs.”