The last time I visited a treatment place where a friend was being treated for alcoholism, a counselor told the visitors that they should not enable bad behavior. To my dismay, I learned that less than a week before he was finished the short term treatment, one morning he stormed out of a meeting and out of the center.
As I was in the library, soon to leave to grab a bite to eat before going to the 12 step program in Levittown, PA, I got a call from someone who asked if I could give the treatment center refugee a ride to a friend’s house. He had already started walking there.
I only said I’d wait for a return call because I thought I could take the guy with me to 12 steps. When I got the call, I was told he had turned his phone off and was asked if I could look for him. I was not about to hunt for this impetuous guy along New Falls Road in Levittown.
After I hung up, it dawned on me that had I picked the treatment center refugee up, I would be enabling him. Based on his history, he probably would have some excuse why he couldn’t go to the 12 steps that night. http://www.12stepjourney.com/
A Salvation Army officer once told me about a guy who, for no reason, hitchhiked quite a distance from a Salvation Army center and ended up in Levittown. The officer was prepared to take the guy, who arbitrarily took off, back. But when he called the officer in charge of the center, he told the Levittown officer not to give him a ride — to let him get back the same way he came.
To give the runaway guy a ride back would send a message that there are no consequences for his actions. It would be like the ant, in Aesop’s classic fable, giving the grasshopper, who, instead of storing up food as the ant did for the winter, a handout. http://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?i=1&n=0
It’s important to use discernment when helping others. A few years back, when I stopped at a Chinese restaurant, a woman offered to buy a panhandler a meal. The guy demanded money, making excuses why he wouldn’t accept the meal. The woman told him that’s her final offer. He became hostile, and then other people waiting in line chastised the man. The woman remarked “the Lord tells me to feed the hungry but not to” hand out money indiscriminately.
People today think they are entitled to what others have.
The Lord commands us to help the needy. He’s given us the heart to help others but also wisdom.
Someone just showed charity towards me, showing the true meaning of Christmas. As I went towards the register to pay for some milk, a guy heading the same way slowed down to let me go first and remarked “you are on a mission”. I replied that I had to get my girlfriend to chemotherapy. When I went to use food stamps, I found there were insufficient funds. As I fumbled through my cash, the guy, now behind me, offered to pay for the milk. I told him I had the money but he insisted, reasoning that I need to help somebody.
When you hear “please friend ant”, the best thing you can do is not accommodate the grasshopper. Maybe on some occasions you can cut people some slack and give them something to tide them over. For example, a homeless person returns to his tent drunk and rips it up. Maybe just giving him a tent one time is righteous, but with the stipulation that if he’s reckless again, he won’t be given another tent.
Someone who called into a talk show remarked that private charity is better than government handouts because individuals are better able to distinguish between the people truly in need and slackers.
In lower Bucks County, between food stamps, gracious people who give food and clothing for the needy there should be plenty of those needs met for the homeless. The problem is that some people sell some of their food stamps and use the money for cancer sticks, booze, and even drugs. The misuse of food stamps enables bad behavior.
Some time ago, a woman with lung cancer asked me to buy her cigarettes. Astonished, I told her “no,” and explained that that was not a necessity and that she’s not entitled.
BO has been called “the food stamp president.” A black woman on Glen Beck’s show remarked that BO practices “plantation politics” — “he’ll give us food stamps but will not give us the opportunity to help ourselves” by allowing parents to pick the best school when he eliminated school choice vouchers.
Private charity works better than government handouts because individuals can get to really know the people they are helping. Not only will they realize where the help is coming from — that it isn’t pennies from heaven — but people truly in need can get a hand up, and not just a hand out.
There’s a school of thought that helping the homeless, buying them tents and even giving them food is enabling them and, in the case of tents, aiding and abetting illegal camping. Well, the problem is many people legitimately don’t have anyplace to go. Unlike some areas, Bucks County, PA does not have sufficient shelter for the homeless.
Many people are homeless because of the economy. Rush Limbaugh said “Obama is doing to the economy what Godzilla did to Tokyo — he’s stomping all over it.” Likewise is our tax and spend Big Bad Wolf Governor in Pennsylvania, who also holds up production by banning harvesting, mining of resources on state lands.
The Big Bad Wolf may as well pass out pink slips and drag people out of their houses. As was the case during FDR’s New Raw Deal and subsequent progressive reigns, there was gross poverty. During these times homelessness ran rampant. Greed, the misuse of capitalism created the Great Depression, but government programs exacerbated and prolonged it.
As President Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
People need to learn responsibility.
Ah grasshopper, when you are ready to act more responsibly, you are ready to go out into the world and become a responsible member of society. My apologies Master Khan.