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View Diary: How to run a cash grab scam on Dailykos (342 comments)

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  •  you just reminded me of something. (27+ / 0-)

    years ago in ny, i worked in a "health food" store and restaurant.  a well dressed man came dramatically into the store followed by an older, poorly dressed man who was, obviously, homeless or very very poor.

    the well dressed man dramatically put a fiver on the counter and said, "give this man some food!" and then marched out.  he was TRYING to do the "right thing" but what transpired after he left broke my heart.

    the older gentleman was obviously hungry but we only served brown rice concoctions - not good ones, at that.  he was close to tears - he kept saying, when i asked what he'd like to order, "i needs MEAT!"  he was humiliated and broken in spirit by the public display of "charity".  after seeing his face, i quietly pushed the five dollars into his hand and told him to go buy a big juicy hamburger with it... he left, still almost crying and saying "i needs MEAT!"

    what he really was saying was that he needed help, not degradation.

    it is so hard to ask for help from others.  desperation sometimes forces people to do something they cannot otherwise imagine.

    in the diaries of those asking, it isn't always about money - it is about support and caring and reassurance that they will be all right and that they are not alone.  it is the fear that is being addressed and the caring they need.

    the cold-heartedness of this diary and the lack of understanding by some of the comments amazes me and shows me that some really don't understand why people come to a site that they consider to be among friends to cry out for help and support.

    the advice that is given is sometimes a better gift than money - the suggestions (that many times have already been explored and found not workable) are still evidence that folks care.

    compassion.

    that is what is found in the diaries of those who seek it.

    this type of garbage diary shows a lack of compassion and a coldness not befitting any person hearing of another's distress.  if one doesn't believe the plea - move on but keep it to one's self.  the one who ends up looking bad isn't the one in need.

    just my humble opinion.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:24:13 PM PST

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    •  What Homeless Was Saying Was He Needed to Be (11+ / 0-)

      not-hungry for half a day. Meat will accomplish that; carbo and many veggie based foods will not. But some will. He expected that with what you offered, he'd feel starving again 2 hours later.

      If you haven't lived with a medical condition, like mine, or in severe poverty, like him, you probably don't appreciate what a chronically injured gut does to you every minute of your 16 waking hours and most of your sleeping hours.

      Due to a misdiagnosed food sensitivity, I lived with a blood sugar instability for 20 years. I was slammed every hour or two between nausea and hunger pangs. A piece of red meat tamed it significantly, at a cost of feeling draggy for the first hour or so while it digested, but fat was even better, staying power with no initial energy penalty. That's probably why the poor Blacks I worked with in unskilled construction in my young adult years would wax so eloquently on the joys of edible fat.

      I found some time ago that the well known combination of beans + grain, recognized for delivering complete protein when they're digested together, also gives most of the hourly energy staying power of meat or fat. I could eat meat + rice for lunch and never be any hungrier or draggy than if I'd eaten fat or meat, till supper.

      This homeless guy mightn't have known that if he wasn't Latino, people whose diet is built around this principle, or from one of the other many ethnicities that have incorporated it into their low meat traditional diets.

      The rich guy in your story was a jerk, but if the health food store had fully understood the way food works for poor people maybe they'd have had some Mexican or Asian or African or Cajun dishes to offer him that would've gotten him to bedtime without becoming dizzy or shaky.

      My hands have been hunger shaky within the last 3 hours.  Some hae meat and cannae eat.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:46:15 PM PST

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      •  i have lived with extreme poverty - i remember all (10+ / 0-)

        too well having nothing but dried beans to eat and being very grateful.  i know the value of peanut butter and know very well which foods fill the nutritional needs.

        having lived for a number of years with a very tricky gut (that still punches me if i go to mcdonalds or to fast food), and having cooked nutritional food for tee for 3 1/2 years because of his diabetes, i know food very well.

        sometimes, people need dignity over nutrition. for that man, a meal of brown rice over a hamburger (pre-mcdonalds since this story goes back to 1970 in ny) or even a pizza slice and soda should have been his choice, not his "benefactor".

        dignity over judgement.  that was what was lacking.

        also, we were one of the first "health food" stores in ny - on w.4th off jones street.  our store was so healthy that i quit a week later after calling the board of health on the owner because he stored the 50 lb bag of brown rice in the bathroom and when the toilet overflowed, i caught the bastard scooping the rice out of the top half of the bag that had been soaked in sewage.  oh, and when he fired the cook, he hired to dishwasher to replace him.  needless to say, the store went under.

        oh, and that fiver would have fed the homeless man for five days plus - i know, when i first moved to ny, that was my diet - $0.48 for a slice and soda and tax once a day until i got a job.

        still, my point was about dignity vs humiliation... not nutrition.

        and i do agree with you that good food fills an empty belly better than junk food.  in those days, though, a hamburger was not processed mystery meat.  i cook almost every meal - from whole oatmeal (not instant) to fresh steamed veggies - to the pumpkin puree i ate tonite - tee's gift to me was paying attention to nutrition to live healthy.  i know when i slip - i crave "stuff" - fats are geared to taste good - carry over from our cave days, i suppose.

        we should really have a food group on this site - i loved finding recipes in the troll diaries of old!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:14:20 PM PST

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    •  Charity (20+ / 0-)

      I have a habit of giving smokes to people jonesing for a cigarette and money for booze to alcoholics. If I have change and someone approaches me and asks it's not my place to tell them how to spend it.

      I'm an alcoholic, twenty years sober but I still smoke. It's my vice and I like it. There was a time in my life when all I needed was a drink, period. All the yelling in the world wouldn't have made me sober.  I'm not about to do that to some poor person who is in need. They'll clean up when and if they want to. Maybe I can help them make it through the afternoon.

      Charity is about giving, not dictating. The man in your story who embarrassed the hungry guy was just stroking his own ego.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:24:32 PM PST

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      •  thank you for saying this - charity is dropping (12+ / 0-)

        the coins in the red bucket, handing quickly the sandwich, the dollar, the gift without forcing the recipient to grovel in return.

        when i was going home for mom's memorial service, i saw an older homeless guy in the grassy median of the freeway in atlanta.  i was stuck in traffic so i reached for change with his face lighting up.  i only had a twenty - nothing smaller - so he got it.

        a few yards down was one more guy - he got the second one.

        what did i get?  the beauty of their expressions when they realized they had just earned enough for a hot meal or two!  and, i got two beautiful smiles - well worth it, imho.  i got more than i gave - i got the joy back.

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:07:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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