It was a hazy early evening, and it was probably bad for my noggin. I was headed to Georgetown to buy a 12-pack of Pepsi Pop. A homeless guy asked me "do y' have some foo'?" Instictively, I said, "I wish I had some to give you," and that was while I was holding food in a bag. Then I remembered. So life went on, I bought the caffeinated smack, and headed home. Now my brain was back, and remembered that, yes, I did have a canister of raisins, as well as a leftover Babe Ruth bar. He was 75% there; he talked about ice cream a little, as I prepared his hor d'oeuvre. But he came to, and asked if I went to the nearby. No, I went to a Catholic school, I told him. "dey's one of 'em giz' who stay's at me ev'ry day." So he then asked me, truthfully. I like people who speak their ego to me. "Do you have a speech impediment?" Not exactly proper social etiquette, but I expected that someone would, at least, think that. It was the retainer. After I shook out some raisins, I had to go. So long. "May God blez' you." Food. He asked for food, not money. Respectable.
The art of Begging (in America)
It has been known that a few entrepreneurial crack-cocaine addicts (and some who are not addicts) come to Georgetown, make big bucks from the uppity sympathetic, and then take the 30, at about midnight, back to East of the Capitol (a direct trip!) and buy their smack.
History of Begging
Begging has generally existed since the first development of cities, and it continues to this day. Prior to the development of periodic welfare giveaways, begging was a critical source of livelihood for its partakers. However, in more recent times, begging has become non-essential to the life of those involved. As a matter of fact, much of the historical begging class, which, sadly, has always existed, no longer actively begs, but rather, does not engage in productive society. (It is not always their fault. Drugs and bad community influence are a big problem.)
Begging today, therefore, should be regarded as a form of respectable entrepreneurship, and beggars should be regarded with some respect, above that which just about every human deserves, anyway. This activity, with deep anthropological roots, has recently become an "extreme" competitive sport, in Russia, commonly played by millionaires and billionaires there. As it is, millionaires are addicted to money, l;ike a drug addict to their drug.
But, as your first-grade teacher said, don't give cash. Give food, or you have a pretty good chance of being an accomplice to the American crime of Drug Addiction, which, today, plagues a significant portion of the homeless, and begging class. Anyways, many of the homeless, begging addicts, including the Georgetown profiteers, can be rehabbed, and experience social mobility in the upward direction. An example is the StreetSense vendors. Visit the website- rehab (not necessarily drug, mind you) works! http://www.streetsense.org/