I have more that I want to post on the subject of beggars, but I am taking a slight detour for this post because of the perfect timing of two posts that appeared on my Facebook newsfeed today to provide a glaring example in the differences in how people perceive and portray individuals in need of what someone deems to be help.
Sure, the second image is one that I shared from my own organization but that’s not the point because my organization is not the only one out there who chooses to portray those that we work with as human beings with dignity. It just so happened to show up right below the other image on my news feed which left me shaking my head once again at the fact that people still allow their hearts to break by the images and comments published such as the first. In this case, however, the image came from a jokes facebook page, not an actual organization, so I can only assume that it was intended to be some sort of funny prank. “Hey let’s post this to our facebook page and see how many gullible people we can get to believe this crap!” That can be the only explanation, right? I think that the frowny emojis afterwords really bring the point home. Of course, I can’t blame my facebook friend for wanting to help “poor people” whoever they are, wherever they are, and however Facebook is going to allegedly get that dollar to them. I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg will get right on that. It’s not my friend’s fault for feeling sympathy for hungry children and right at the moment that she came across this picture having to decide to use it as a tool of awareness. I hope someday that boy doesn’t have to eat scraps off of the floor too. But we as a society have to stop skimming the surface of this ocean of proposed solutions to helping the people of the world in exchange for real human connection while we feign sympathies at unspecific sufferings.
So, Santa Banta, whoever you are, thanks for the funny joke, but next time just draw a cartoon or post a picture of a cat in a funny hat or something rather than tricking well meaning people into thinking that their making a difference. Kindly do it.