Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Beggin On The Freeway Bout As Hard As It Gets"

With apologies to fellow HoCo blogger Hayduke, I borrowed the title for this post from the song Cold Water by Tom Waits. This particular song line popped into my head as I tooled down Columbia's central artery, Route 175, yesterday.

It was a gorgeous spring day and I was just thinking to myself how beautiful Columbia is in the spring with the preponderance of flowering trees when I came upon two young people holding a sign begging for money. They were actually standing at the ramp from I-95 where two other young people were killed last year.

It occurred to me that I have been seeing more highway begging in Howard County over the last few years. Is it just my imagination or have others noticed this as well?

How do you feel about this?

Do you give them money?

I admit that I did not give them money. I am always torn by this though. I believe that anyone who feels compelled to beg for money on a street corner must be in dire straits. A simple contribution of a buck or two might actually help them. On the other hand, I know that some folks who do this are simply bums. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I actually offered work to someone holding a "will work for food" sign.