No, not my wife. The other half of my personality. You see, by day I play this coding, somewhat self absorbed bastard where the only priorities in life are the wife, coding, food, relaxing and sticking to myself. Every now and then, the other half stops by to visit. First he only showed up when I went on vacation to other cities, but lately he's been stopping by closer to home.
Last night, for whatever reason that struck me, I noticed a person on the down and out side of life when I was heading across town to buy a chair. He was standing between the lanes with his bag holding up a sign. Clearly a person in need.
On the way back through I stopped, asked him if he had ate and if he wanted to snag some dinner at my expense at the mexican place across the street. He thanked me but declined. At that point in the evening, the priority was to stay out and get $ for a place to sleep, rather than worrying about food. The light changed and drove off.
Being the stubborn person I am, not being able to let this go, I turned around to try again after driving most of the way home already. This time he accepted because an opportunity is an opportunity.
Nice guy. Clearly in need, but trying to make it in the world. Same old story. Medical issues, hospital bills, evicted, lost job. Not trying work it just for booze/drugs. You can always tell the difference between people in need and people working the system because people in need are willing to spend time talking to you [and having lunch/dinner]. We had a good time. Told some good stories. I gave him the spare $ I had, shook hands and parted ways.
Will it help him in the long run? Who knows. But trying is better than looking the other way. It's kind of funny that it takes people who have nothing to remind you that what you have (roof, wife, health) is more important than everything you bitch about every day (gas, job, bills). It's also much harder, but more rewarding to spend time with someone instead of just dropping a coin and walking away.
The part that bothers me is the part of the story I hear over and over from these people. They try places like Haven of Rest or Salvation Army and instead of just help, these places are more in it to make sure you convert, go to church twice a day and do service. Now, if your a "christian", fine, and you go to church and read the $book, fine. It's not my cup of tea and I truly believe that it's about actions and not about worship. But when it becomes more about preaching and saving than it does about helping, then I think the system [or religion x] is flawed. We're lucky enough to have a soup kitchen in the next town where you have to promise to NOT preach and push whatever religion you practice on the people in need. You're job is to help, not to judge.
But I digress. Back to $work.