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Tidbit Panhandling Greenville SC 10/25/2021

Tidbit Panhandling Greenville SC 10/25/2021

DID YOU KNOW…….that we have signs in downtown  Greenville, SC that ask us not to encourage  panhandling?  

Interesting how many different views we all have and  how many interpretations one small community can and  does have in regard to one sign. Not knowing the true  history of the sign, I had/have my own interpretation. I  took this to mean that we should help those in need  more than by just handing them some money and rush  past them. Now if we aren’t giving them money and we  have to look them in the eyes (as we should every human  being), what do we say? I say things like hi, how are 

you, nice day, etc. If I am asked for money/food/etc. I  inform them where Project Host is, which is not more than 1 mile  from downtown, and that they can get lunch everyday,  socks, etc. Just my interpretation and you know what?  Everyone listens and smiles. I am going to continue to  hope that at least one of them goes for lunch at Project  Host/A Soup Kitchen, etc. one day in the future, gets a  good meal, maybe some very needed socks and has a  few minutes to sit back, and feel like they are safe.

So that sign encouraged me to offer help to, share a  smile with, show some respect for a fellow human being.  Literally 5 nights ago, I was walking downtown after a  meeting and somewhere around the Falls Park steps on  Main, a guy, 30ish, a little worn, with the American Flag  wrapped around his back and tied at his neck was  walking toward me. As we passed, we both smiled and  said hi to each other, and I said something about what a  beautiful night it was. Do you know he stopped me and  thanked me for looking him in the eyes and actually  being nice. He never asked me for a single thing, he just  thanked me for being nice.  

Maybe some of you know this man, many of us do not.  What story or image of the man did you make up in  your head as you read my little TidBit. Executive, fallen  on hard times, wife took the kids to her parents while he 

stays behind and tries to find a way up and out of the  hole they are in, the large house he had has been  repossessed? Or, homeless, dirty, lazy, a little scary man  that is approaching you to ask you for money - or did it  even flicker (many of you did get a flicker) for a  millimeter of a second that he could be an old friend, a  former neighbor, a family member who lost their job due  to CoVID. He took a job making much less, now he was  making minimum wage and was not able to support (as  in feed, provide shelter, medicine, basic necessities) for  his wife and two children. His wife was a stay at home  mom because it was cheaper than daycare when factoring  in gas, work clothes, actual daycare expense, eating  lunch out occasionally, etc. What if…..we stop and  wonder and share our feelings and thoughts? What if…  




*TidBits is a place for me to occasionally share my views/opinions on a few tidbits - stepping way  out of my comfort zone here. I believe that if we don’t share our actual thoughts/feelings progress  will always be out of our reach - it is scary to share on this platform, so please be kind.