I have heard people say, “If you don’t want be angry, then don’t read the paper”. My thoughts, “If you don’t want be informed, don’t read the paper.”
Well, it goes without saying I am now informed and angry. Walking into work, a colleague asked me if I was okay. I pulled the article out of my bag. She nonchalantly informed me that she had read it. Then said, “Thankfully our homeless people (Americans) have the options of going to shelters or staying in hospital lobbies and bus tunnels during cold spells.”
I pointed to the sections I circled which read:
“When a man pleads, ‘Sir, I am a poor man; I’ll die,’ Jamaal chuckles and replies: ‘You’re not allowed to die. Even that will cost 1,250 rupees.’”
“A drunken man, his hair matted, stumbled up to Mr. Khan and begged. ‘Brother, please,’ he pleaded, and Mr. Khan uttered a curse under his breath, then grabbed a quilt and thrust it at him. ‘If I don’t give him the blanket, he will freeze to death,’ he said.”
Another colleague chimed in and said, “Do you see that happening here?”
I couldn’t argue with her. I rarely cross a homeless person’s path on these cold days. I often see cops rousing them to inform them that it was against the law to stay outside. However, I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong when we’re charging homeless people for blankets. What has happened to compassion?