A question of honesty.

In taking public transportation I often see colorful characters on the streets or in the downtown area. Often I see them at the entrance of metro stations that go deep underground. This is where I saw this homeless person with a cardboard sign that he held high so everyone could read it. Below the sign was an empty glass. The sign said the following:

Too lazy to work
Too ugly for prostitution.

I thought that it was refreshing to see finally an honest person upfront, one who proudly declares that he is lazy and ugly and understands that this will inevitably turn off some people. But others, no doubt surprised at this apparent honesty, will give him a few coins to assuage their guilty conscience.

Of course, one has to take the affirmations of this honest fellow with a large grain of salt it seems to me. He said he was too lazy to work, and it might well be the case, but it is also possible that he simply had not found his true calling in life. I can’t believe that his calling is to be a bum and mooch off people. As for being too ugly to prostitute himself, I can only say that he looked young and scruffy and probably in his mid twenties, but can say no more on that account as those kind of relationships are not my proverbial cup of tea. To each his own I dare say.

Most people passed by him without giving anything. Even with the dog in his arms it was not sufficient to elicit a response. It was not the first time that I had seen him there and it probably won’t be the last. The metro station is warm and cozy in winter, with a captive audience to boot. I suppose that he believes that if only a fraction of those people who pass by him donate some money he will be fine. The law of averages are on his side.

I passed by him and did not give as I was not willing to encourage this sort of life. In this action I was not alone as the near totality of the people I was with barely looked at him or probably read his sign. At least he knew how to read and write correctly and that is always a good foundation to a more interesting life than that of a moocher.


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