Nearly everyday I encounter someone climbing a bus, begin with a speech about how they left a life of robbing people and proceed to ask for money. It almost irritated me at first, the expectation to be rewarded for following societal norms we all abide by. But then I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine how much dignity has to be sacrificed to mount a bus and sing to the sound of two colliding sea shells. They couldn't do it unless they really needed to.
I wanted to be different from all those other tourists that would mockingly imitate beggars after brushing their noses in disgust. A sol here, a candy bar purchase there (realistically less than I probably lose in a couch back at home), but soon enough, I didn't have enough bus fare to get me home. So instead I politely say "no" or just ignore it. It's become almost normal to see these things.
But it angers me that this has become normal. Things like this shouldn't be "normal". At the end of the day I passed by a woman sitting against the concrete wall of a church, sorting through a bag of candy, counting the day's earnings. I imagined my only recourse to survival coming out of a bag of jolly ranchers. I think about being forced to approach random strangers to try and convince them to buy an artificial sweet they don't need and most likely don't want. I imagine it to be incredibly uncomfortable. I would rather work almost any other job. It has to be more than just, "Get a job you fucking bum!" to explain these type of situations, doesn't it?
But those are the thoughts of a naive idealist. I've learned long ago that idealists never make it. We need to abandon our ideals and live in the real world. Fuck ideals. FUCK ideals. FUCK IDEALS.
On my way to the bus station, there is a man lying in the middle of the road, begging for money. Actually, he's there almost everyday. He's born with only one leg and one arm. I've given him money several times but I had to stop. I wish I had more money to spare. Now every time walking by, I silently send him my prayers. I'm not ignoring him, but I also accept my own financial reality. There are many forms of suffering, and lacking (food/money/shelter/health/loving family, etc) is just one of them.
Heeyyy we need the ideals otherwise we'd all be apathetic or cynical.
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