You may have read the title and expected some introspective ideas about how if we adopt a beggar’s attitude it will only hurt us in the long run. You would be wrong. I am going to talk about people who actually sit on the street and ask everyone that passes, “any spare change?” Yeah, this is happening.
Since recently moving to Santa Monica, California I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people begging for money. Now I’m not really a fan of that decision in general, but if I pass by someone who is doing so, and I have some change, I will usually hand it over and hope that it will make their life a little better.
I was walking down Wilshire boulevard as I passed a man sitting in front of a 7/11 and was politely asked, “any spare change?” I checked my pockets, found them bare and responded that perhaps when I was done grabbing a bite to eat that I would have some. Immediately after saying this, the regret set in. I will not have any more change after paying for my meal, I rarely use cash. I usually use my debit card to pay. In fact, so rarely do I use cash that this particular statement now seemed like a bold faced lie. So here is what I began to ponder as I continued my walk.
The direction that we are going in as a society is not going to be a good thing for people who ask for change. More and more people are moving to a cash and change free way of life. So much so that it is not unreasonable to say that in 10, 15, 25 years we could see such a dramatic decrease in the use of paper and metal money that it will be all but obsolete. The beggars of the future will now have to invest in credit card machines, and hope that the transaction fee goes down enough to make the sum worth it. I am being facetious of course, but it was an interesting thought.
Now I feel as though there are a lot of unexpected changes which will occur in the near future. Most of us could have seen that we were moving towards a cash free society, less of us thought about the impact that would have on homeless people. What other changes do you think will have small impacts on your own life, but huge impacts on the lives of others? I think it’s worth thinking about.
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