View Full Version : Hey it isn't their property!

August 23rd, 2001, 12:30 PM
Well the busy bodies are at it again. It seems that some people are upset that law enforcement in a number of communities are taking shopping carts from the homeless (we used to call them bums before political correctness) and giving the carts back to the rightful owners (that would be the supermarkets they were STOLEN from). Now I know that some of you will say that "hey one cart, what could it hurt"? Well it isn't just one cart it's thousands of carts every year. The cost of those carts is added to your grocery bill.
So often we forget that while doing one thing seems insignificant in nature we forget that it adds up when done by many. For those who smoke, tossing a cigarette butt out the window of their car means little, it's only one. Yet walk along any street and the number of butts you will see is astonishing. This in an era when we have radically reduced the number of smokers in this country.
Fly on an airliner and watch the number and size of bags carried aboard by some people. I have seen people have arguements over the availability of overhead bin space. The bags they have never would pass the size limits for carry-on bags yet these people figure everyone else has to make room for them. Too many people spend too much time worrying about the big things, start with the little things that make life more civil first.

August 23rd, 2001, 01:14 PM
Darn straight!

August 23rd, 2001, 01:17 PM
Too true.

Start with the *little* things in yourself and your actions..

And I really hate not being able to borrow a cart to take my stuff to my car, because carts aren't allowed out of the store anymore, because people stole 'em!

August 23rd, 2001, 02:21 PM
Wow. That really sucks. Every store around here uses the 25 cent - 1 dollar deposit system to keep the carts locked up.

FYI, I know some people in the grocery biz, those carts are EXPENSIVE. Something close to a hundred bucks.

August 23rd, 2001, 02:43 PM
Well, on that note, let's take the clothes off the backs of the homeless as well because they probably took them from someone else too.

Or how about this: take their cart, give them a decent place to live. Long live altruism!! :)

I guess I'm the odd one out in this thread so far...

champion of wyrd

August 23rd, 2001, 02:53 PM
A short story prompted by the thought of giving them a good place to live.

My brother is the general manager of a company that opened a new store/shop in St. Loius several years ago. He went to open it and run it. He was the only one in the huge building for several weeks until he hired the staff. He came across a gentleman who was begging on the corner every morning. My bro often stopped at McDonald's before coming in so he started getting enough food for both of them and the same thing at lunch. In turn the gentleman swept the parking lot and kept trash picked up. My bro never asked him to do it, he just did it. My bro got to know him quite well over the course of time as he would often eat outside with him. He was a very well educated man who had a run of bad luck a few years back. My bro offered him a full time position in the shop with a weekly paycheck and the man was insulted. He chose to live this way and wasn't ready to change. To this day the man still sweeps the lot, although the food buying alternates between by bro and some of the employees who enjoy spending time with this guy. They don't even know his name and are always careful not to offer too much and offend him.

My point is that most homeless folks have been so for a number of years. They may have passed up numerous opportunities to "better" themselves. So, yes it is sad and we may feel compelled to help but condoning theft is not the answer. There are ways to help them help themselves when they get ready. All they have to do is seek that assistance.

August 23rd, 2001, 03:45 PM
My sentiments exactly Semele. :)

Those who want help can often find it. Those who don't want help, well, what can you do? There are proper ways to go about doing things, and then there are improper ways. And when one does things the improper way, then one must expect consequences for one's actions.

The worst part is that there is actually often more help out there for the homeless than people even realize; especially for those who want a job. On the radio station I listen to on my way to work in the mornings, the two morning DJs have a friend who's homeless. Yet he pulls in 50 grand a year, tax free, and even carries a cel phone. And he says he'll always remain homeless, because he has so much more than what he'd have if he wasn't homeless.

People like this man are not rare. Many homeless choose to remain homeless for one reason or another. To me, it makes no sense. However, that's their choice to do so.

But the topic isn't even entirely about the homeless. I think it's a broader perspective. It's the simple message that we should consider others in our own actions when our actions aren't only affecting ourselves.

August 23rd, 2001, 03:56 PM
part of the problem, will always be, that there isn't a way for some people to get help, because they are so far gone mentally, that they can't find it, or dont' know they need it.

others simply are content to live without a home, perhaps they have simply become humble enough to no longer desire a material lifestyle and the problems it brings.

i dont' agree with stealing anything. i suppose it's hard, when you have no where to put your belongings, but then again, since i dont' know the situation, i can't say whether some of these people even realize that taking the carts are wrong.

i think there should be many more social outreach programs, that would help those that are mentally or physically ill, and even if they dont' want a job or a home, would give them a place to go if they needed a meal or medication

August 23rd, 2001, 04:19 PM
I'm reminded of a thought I heard a friend express once.

In nature, the animals that are weak and sick are removed from the herd by predators, which keeps the herd strong.

In nature, when a herd outgrows it's resources, hunger causes weakness and sickness. This in turn causes the herd to be reduced by predators, which then in turn causes the herd to regain it's strength.

In nature, there is balance, and this balance keeps things strong.

Humanity defies nature. We create our own imbalance. Our very 'humanity' weakens us.

His thought was that we should let the weak die. That we should keep the 'human herd' strong.

And it makes me wonder, which way is really better? It's a question that my heart has no answer for. I don't think I can ever really agree completely with one extreme or the other. But it's a thought to think on none-the-less.

August 25th, 2001, 09:19 AM
To me, it's really very simple. When you see someone you have the resources to help -- for example, a stranded motorist -- you offer your assistance. When you find an organization that helps people that you don't have the resources to help -- for example, a mission -- you offer your assistance to that organization.

One of my uncles works with CARE, in Africa. His job is to head up relief convoys that race from a base of operations to a place where relief is needed. On the way, they are often shot at, and usually have to make arrangements with territorial warlords in places where this is no government. Even if they loose a man (to firefights or to a stray branch knocking them to the ground), they keep moving, because if they don't, they're all dead. Crazy bastard's been doing this for years; many years ago he sent his wife (native-born) and kids (also native-born) to America for the safety and opportunity, so he isn't totally insane.

It doesn't have to be a government effort, but there does have to be an effort.

If it is our humanity that gets us into these fixes, what with the way we defy the balance of nature with our codes of ethics and our medical technology and so on, then it must be our humanity that gets us back out.