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Member Since 23 Jan 2006
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In Topic: Panhandling in Downtown Fort Worth

27 March 2007 - 06:32 AM


You're right...they're two entirely seperate issues, and I shouldn't have mixed them up. When you present one with regard to damaging the other, it makes a compelling case, and I hear you now. Thanks for the point of view.

In Topic: Panhandling in Downtown Fort Worth

26 March 2007 - 05:31 PM


Itís always refreshing to hear about people who are willing to do something for others, and frankly Iím surprised to hear it from you given your seamingly (operative word ďseaminglyĒ) angry bent on panhandlers. I think doing something where you're forced to interact with people in need is one the best things anyone can do (vs handing off money and feeling as though you've done your part). I also think youíre among a minority of people who donate their time/services.

Iíve been some places too where you get to know the face of someone genuinely impoverished, AND I know a story when I hear one. Iím downtown a fair amount both during business hours and on weekends, and I canít say that Iíve really encountered too many people that just have a story to tell Ė maybe they avoid me or, or somehow I avoid them. I do frequently see people who appear to be (at least somewhat) mentally ill, not asking for money during the day. I also go to the library downtown a fair amount, and invariably see at least a half dozen or so people who are without question plain homeless. Maybe I need hang out in the con-artist areas a little more.

At any rate, I donít think FW residents have much to complain about compared to other cities, and I certainly donít let uninvited encounters ruffle my feathers - especially not the fire-and-brimstone sort. Like I said, youíre in charge of your reaction to others.

In Topic: Panhandling in Downtown Fort Worth

26 March 2007 - 12:28 PM

Salfy, I’m glad you had the opportunity to look into someone’s eyes – someone homeless – and understand that they’re human beings just like you and me who are entitled to the same dignity. I’m also glad you understand that no one ends up begging for money because that’s what they always dreamed of since age 12. I also agree this has nothing to do with beliefs – I was just pointing out one of many absurd hypocrisies people live by when they don’t take a good look at what warrants they’re own actions and desires.

My point in mentioning that is no one forces you to react in any particular way to other people – that is your problem and yours alone. If homeless and panhandling people make you uncomfortable, ask yourself why. (If the things I say make you feel uncomfortable, definitely ask yourself "why?") Life will always throw you curve balls, and it’s your responsibility to deal with them in a skillful way. Not knowing when your next meal will come is a pretty tough curve ball by comparison.

I know that handing a dollar to everyone who asks for one is not going to solve the world’s problem’s, and I never said or implied it would. What I did say (in other words) was this: simply trying to put a problem out of sight doesn’t make it go away. I also said that "truly" helping others is the way to go. That’s why it’s important to hear the insight of others – homeless or not. Besides, it's good karma wink.gif

In Topic: Panhandling in Downtown Fort Worth

26 March 2007 - 09:22 AM

Iím going to present a very unpopular opinion here (as I usually do) :

The vast majority of people on the streets have serious problems Ė not the least of which are mental health issues, which is why you find so many that talk to themselves or have sudden outbursts (as some have already noted in this thread). What I find most disturbing about the homeless is not the homeless, but those who dismiss them as lazy bums who ďneed to get a job.Ē Whatís particularly absurd in my opinion is many of these dismissal-types call themselves good Chirstians, but are more concerned with maintaining a comfortable distance from uncomfortable situations than the wellfare of someone in need, and would never even consider following the charitable, compassionate and selfless example of the one they claim as their savior.

Is panhandling really a problem? Theoretically if we truly helped panhandlers, wouldnít that solve the apparent problem of panhandling? Iím not saying I know explicitly how to fix peopleís problems, but I know that marginalizing them sure doesnít do them any good Ė maybe it helps those people that simply feel uncomfortable around them.

In Topic: Unidentified Plant

22 March 2007 - 01:03 PM

Thanks Jeff...I think that's really close, or this is some obscure variety of Pyracantha. I did an image search for all the species listed in the Wiki article, and the flowers are VERY similar, but none are exact matches. The way the branches and thorns make a zig-zag pattern is noticeably different too. It does affirm my suspicion that it's in the rose family though. It was interesting that the Wiki article mentioned how birds like to take shelter in it. I have a friend who's husband is a botanist...maybe he can identify it definitively.