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I too have read the letter and comments a few times before I chose to respond. I too have seen a group of people pan handling right off the freeway. At first it was a lady in a wheelchair asking for money with the cardboard sign that said, disabled and hungry. I felt a little compassion for the lady who looked down on her luck. Then the VERY next day I drove by the same spot to see a man in the wheelchair and the lady walking next to him, and this time he was holding the sign. I thought, that can't be a coincidence. Then a few days later I see the SAME two people enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, not looking down on their luck at all, only to return to their freeway spot the very next day. I now feel very little compassion for people who come into our community and choose to live this lifestyle, and get paid for it.
Amie_d, you said you are using this letter to teach your child the lesson of ignorance vs. compassion. Are you also teaching your child that some people choose to live this lifestyle and are not hurt, down, struggling or lost? That they simply live off the spare change that many community members work hard for and give out of compassion, only to be taken advantage of. I'm not saying this is the case for pan handler out there, but don't be so naive to think that if we support the people coming into our town that aren't contributing members of society, they aren't going to multiply and live of the resources our town has to offer because they will.
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