Although the question of what we are teaching society around us seems irrelevant, it is very much all of our responsibly to do this teaching through our actions. We teach what is acceptable and what is not. A small example that I came across the other day had me in tears because it is so saddening..
Let me give you a little history on why I feel the way I do. Pan handling for example, I do not condone. There is always work to be done. The place that my dad worked most of my growing years hired disabled individuals from blind, physically unable to do certain things or even able to use parts of their bodies. I find those that say that they cannot find work, really are not looking or are not humble enough to take the work that is offered.
Another example of this was while my dad worked at this same company. He would usually make the effort to offer panhandlers jobs when he saw them.. some took the offer but one in particular would always refuse. After several offers, my dad and his co-worker followed this individual when he left “his corner” they only had to follow him a few blocks until they realized he lived in a nice middle class home with a nice car in a nice neighborhood. Maybe this occurrence ruined me or maybe it just taught me a lesson.. later the thought was confirmed when a co-worker of my own said for fun he tried panhandling. He went to a typical corner with a typical cardboard sign and stood there for a few hours to see what would happen. After realizing he was making well over $40.00 an hour, he had the understanding why many do this, it was not because they could not work, it was because they would make more money if they did not.
What is it about this that bothers me so much. Maybe it is because we are teaching these people that it is easier to take handouts than it is to make an honest living, or maybe is was the experience that I had the other day that ground this very principal into my mind. I was on the way to the store to get some parts for a project I was working on. I took the route I always do but being early summer, there were a lot of people out and about. On one block, I passed a panhandler who, from the time I saw them to the time I passed, had several cars hand them money. Yes, I find this a little upsetting but what made it even worse was that around the corner and down a block or to on the same type of busy road were three little girls out selling lemonade. Using that great entrepnuer spirit they were out waving signs, yelling out offers to cars as they drove past, and anything they could do to safely get the attention of any potential customer. As I drove past I was excited for them and felt that I would get some change and stop on my way back past. Both the first time I passed as well as the entire time I was driving the other way (keeping in mind that from the other direction they were visible for a long way) I did not see one single car stop. As I pulled into the parking lot behind where they were set up. I stopped a little way away so I could get the change out before approaching them. They, being super ambitious came to where I had stopped to ask if I would like some lemonade for 75 cents. I said yes, handed them the change and they brought me a full glass of GOOD lemonade. As I drove away with my refreshing beverage, I thought to myself, the lady only a block or so away doing nothing more than holding a sign was making almost twice what I was making as an educated employee while, our children, the future of our country make almost nothing while working as hard as they can to offer something of value to those who would donate to their cause.
So again, I ask, what are we teaching those in our society? Are we teaching them to “work hard for what you want, have pride in the things you do, respect yourself and others, be a responsible person” or are we teaching them “don’t worry about working hard, someone will just give you what you want; handouts are great because you can get something for nothing and there is no better deal than that” I would have to say the latter of the two. That in mind, where will that put our society, our neighborhood, our country if we keep up promoting this mentality? Eventually those that do work hard for the things they have will tire of supporting those that don’t and they will start wanting handouts themselves. With no one working hard anymore who will be doing the handing out? Who will be the ones making sure that people are taken care of? Think about what you are doing every day. Are you promoting a society that is self-sufficient and able to take care of themselves or a society dependent on someone to take care of them because they do not believe in making an honest living.