Yesterday, while coming out of the Metro and getting my bearings, a hobo approached me to ask what museum I was looking for. I told him, he showed me on a map, and gave me the map. He then asked if I could help the homeless, and I noticed an Obama logo on his shirt. My default response to hobos is to not give them money, so I said “Sorry I dont have anything.” which was sort of true. I only had some coins and big notes.
Afterwards, I started thinking about whether that was the right thing to do. He was actually trying to make a living providing a service, and being a tour guide in DC, probably without a license; he was acting pretty libertarian. I thought, “If I were homeless, I probably would do something like that.” So I started to feel bad about it and still do. On the other hand, he did have an Obama shirt. However, maybe that was just a shirt he got for free in a city that loves Obama. Also, I could have talked to him about what he was doing, how it was the opposite of what Obama advocates, and ask him what Obama has done for him.
How would you have reacted?
I probably would have given him something for helping, regardless of his attire. You don’t know if it is the only piece of clothing he had. Entrepeneurs (he was one at the time, if you think about it) come in all kinds of clothing.