Yesterday, after getting some supplies for planting I stopped by the pet store to buy some food and a new chain for my dog. So I went in, bought some dog food, selected a chain and went out as soon as the transaction was done.
But then just outside of the store, I saw something that made me feel guilty about buying the dog food and the chain. A man was lying on some flatten cardboard boxes near the sidewalk adjacent to the pet store. He was almost naked and had dirt all over his body. And as if to add to the picture an overflowing garbage bin is sitting right next to him. It was not a pleasant sight. And I felt a bit guilty because there I was spending something for a dog and yet outside there was a man who apparently needed some kind of aid.
But when I asked myself what was I going to do, all I heard was silence. Shame on me. I proceeded home with my conscience bowed down.
The situation of that man I saw outside the pet store is sadly also the situation of many others scattered all throughout this country. There are hundreds of people like him out there in the streets and I don't need any official consensus to prove it. Just take a stroll or ride around the city and you will see what I talking about.
My inaction bothered me. I was caught in the spur of the moment. I knew what to do but I was somehow held in place. I could have given the man some spare change or a piece of bread but I didn't. Sure it wouldn't have solved all his life's problems, but I am positive it will lighten up his burden for a bit. Perhaps what froze me was the knowledge that it wouldn't be a lasting solution, and might even cause the seemingly able man to become more dependent of alms and donations and won't bother to try again in life.
What should be done here? How can we eliminate poverty? This is an age old question that many have asked before. Should we give out our own belongings and possessions to the less fortunate as what the good Book says? Or perhaps a change in our society's system is needed?
Debatable, yes. But I hope our country's leaders shouldn't debate on it to much, lest my 'inaction flu' contaminate them.