Panhandlers are surprisingly organized


My word choice shows my bias

I was going to remove the word “surprisingly” but left it in to show my first, genuine opinion. I never examined my assumptions about the people I see holding signs with words like “will work for food.” When I looked at myself with as much impartiality that can be mustered by pretending I was analyzing the actions of someone else, I saw a lack of curiosity about those I mentally labelled “street people,” or “beggars,” or “homeless,” or “mentally ill.” Curiosity is natural for me, active curiosity involving questions and follow up questions. Without realizing U had been brainwashed, I had adopted society’s attitude that these people did not count. When I started spending a lot of time –as in, my life–on the streets I wanted you to know I was a person with a story that would ine day appear in this blog. Hear me! Now that I am not on the street my attitude of regarding the sign holders as “other” leaks through in my writing. I hope I can continue to spot my own bias and make changes.

They call it work not begging

I heard people discussing a guy’s reluctance to “work” with a certain woman. They have jobs–these unlikely people? Indeed, they put in 8 hours at particular spots There has to be a definite presentation of a person who is just like you, someone you’d want to help. “You have to have no body consciousness at all. Everything you wear is long, nothing attractive. You want people to think you are just like them.

You want to look like a pilgrim without the bonnet

One of the rules of panhandling

Another rule of panhandling is you “have to sparkle with your attitude. You want people to feel like they are doing some good in helping you. They do not want to think they are giving you money for drugs.”

People are mostly giving you money for drug. No one imagines that the panhandlers make an average of $200 a day. Everyone believes no one is giving you money so everyone gives you money. You do not just wander about but go to a thoughtfully chosen spot. You present the image of propriety that got knocked of course but you could get back.

Interestingly, there is enough money collected each day that people could come together and get a place and get off the street. But the activity is so strongly associated with using drugs that it would put a person on automatic pilot so they could never do anything different by employing tactics originally part of drug seeking behavior. It is hard to believe people who look incapable of planning are really quite calculated in all they do. Do not believe what you see. Hey, if people want to give money where is the harm in it? It is better than stealing. Some would say it is better than prostitution, no matter how far out of the public eye the prostitution is. Something to think about. At least prostitution is honest.

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