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#704080 - 07/27/11 06:13 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Jilly Offline
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I did want to add that I am a little uncomfortable calling homeless people or panhandlers bums. It's awfully negative. These people could be us, at any time. I would hope for a more compassionate term.

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#704429 - 07/29/11 05:23 AM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Jilly]
Horror_Movies_Editor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jilly
I did want to add that I am a little uncomfortable calling homeless people or panhandlers bums. It's awfully negative. These people could be us, at any time. I would hope for a more compassionate term.


Jilly smile Thank God someone said it! I was going to say it in my first post but decided against it. It also sounds quite comical, but mostly just negative, I agree.
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#704616 - 07/29/11 05:50 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Horror_Movies_Editor]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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That's a good point. We affect our world with our language. Apparently "bum" came from a German word for loafer, implying they deliberately choose not to work to fully pay their bills. They deliberately choose to live off the efforts of others - which is not necessarily true.

They aren't all homeless. People with homes still ask for money.

Panhandlers is an odd term - I don't think anyone in current times goes around with a metal pan to ask for money.

Maybe "Beggars" is more accurate because they are begging for money? Beg is the appropriate word when someone pleads for someone else to provide assistance.
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#704621 - 07/29/11 06:09 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
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When I was a kid they were called "tramps" and stayed on the railroad lines. My grandparents told us kids to stay away from them because they snatched up kids and tied them up in those old blankets they tied to sticks and held over their shoulders. We never went near the railroad tracks behind our grandparents home because of the "tramps".

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#705033 - 08/01/11 09:47 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
Horror_Movies_Editor Offline
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Yeah, we used to call them "tramps" over here too, and "beggers" and homeless. I like the word vagrant though - I picked it up in high school and thought I was smart knowing a word no-one else did haha, so it's stuck with me.

Bums are what we sit on over here (bottom) LOL smile
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#705035 - 08/01/11 10:17 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Horror_Movies_Editor]
ShalasBeads Offline
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Registered: 07/28/06
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Yes. I do give money, food, blankets, and scarves. I also donate regularly to our local food banks and soup kitchens.
When people say "Well, they are just going to spend it on..." all I can say is that's their choice just as it's mine to give them the money to do it.

There was a guy I knew named Henry when I was a teenager. I was going through a very rough patch, and he was a downtown "bum" who slept in parks when it was warm and in laundry rooms or the local shelter when it was cold. He was a good guy who had been through things that pretty much just broke him for "normal life". People can say there is all the help out there if you're willing to take it, and that may be true. But what if you're too weak or too broken? Does that mean you don't deserve kindness anymore? That you are no longer human? Henry was a person. He offered to buy me a meal once because he was flush, and offered me kindness without judgment when I needed it. When I did get back on my feet, I wasn't going to be one more do-gooder trying to save him. He didn't want to be saved. Last time I saw him, he had no idea who I was. I emptied my pockets, and gave him the jacket I was wearing. I had food, I had a warm house that was my own. If all I could give him was a little Novocaine to help him through the night, then I would. I believe he has since died, at least I haven't seen him in any of his usual haunts.
But he's a person. They are all people. Once I hand them the 5 dollars or whatever I give them, it's theirs to do with as they please. I would hope that if it were me, or someone I loved, someone else would do the same. Just for the sake of being human and never letting another person become invisible to them.
If you don't want them spending your hard earned cash on alcohol or drugs, consider carrying fast food gift certificates. Some fruits, granola bars, etc can be hard for people who have dental problems to eat. Most fast food places have something on the menu, consider if you live in a cold climate carrying a couple old spare jackets in the trunk. I make simple scarves and hats with inexpensive fleece with my daughter and we hand them out as needed.
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#705160 - 08/02/11 04:31 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: ShalasBeads]
Jilly Offline
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Shala, that is very well spoken. You are a very kind person. I think i will start to carry jackets in my car. At least after summer passes!

And you are right about fruit and granola bars - one of my vagrant friends in Seattle - thanks for the word, Steve! - had only a few teeth, and there were a bunch of things he really could not eat.

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#705165 - 08/02/11 04:53 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: Horror_Movies_Editor]
ExerciseEditor Offline
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Registered: 04/03/02
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Call it whatever. There are many words for the same thing and some words have many meanings.

An a** is also a bum and also means donkey or stupid or foolish and I'm sure some bums are foolish and others are having a hard time. Vagrant doesn't sound any nicer. Homeless is too presumptuous. Beggar sounds like the wrong word. Tramps sounds like some hooker (I'm sorry prostitute/call girl/whatever!) looking for business.

Why do people have to be so P.C. and so sensitive about words. They're just words. Vagrant sounds just as bad to me. In my opinion being a bum or a vagrant (like that sounds any better) is a choice.

My choice is not to reward that behavior. When I donate money it is to organizations that will help these people get the help they need/want. I don't believe in giving another handout to get them through the day. That isn't helping somebody (just my 2 cents). I'm sure I'll get tons of nasty comments for this but whatever!


Edited by ExerciseEditor (08/02/11 05:13 PM)
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#705176 - 08/02/11 05:59 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: ExerciseEditor]
Horror_Movies_Editor Offline
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Shalasbeads - you sound lovely. You can say these things and express them brilliantly because you've obviously been through hard times yourself and also lost a friend.

Monica, I don't think anyone was having a go at you (I certainly wasn't), but certain words do bring up certain negative conotations - don't you think? If I started cussing or using filthy language - those words would hold power. I'm sure you know what I mean, there's a lot of power behind words. The term bum stems from bumming, bumming of the system/state - when some of these people have no choice and are desperate. Maybe you don't think vagrant is a nicer word - that's your choice.

I agree with you about the world going PC crazy with certain things. We're all just expressing our opinions on the question you raised though.

I for one wouldn't choose to live on the street and beg people for money or food, and I doubt you would either. Who would want to choose that lifestyle and why? They certainly don't get enough money to lead a happy life.

People are forced into it through circumstance (most of the time.) One of my closest friends was living on the street when she was 13 years old. She was being physically abused by her mother, who was an alcoholic, and sexually abused by her step-father (also an alcoholic.) She couldn't stand the constant abuse and so had to leave for her sanity. She got in with a gang and an older member got her hooked on Heroin. She was on the streets for about three years.
She got herself off the street, into rehab and went to University because one person decided he wouldn't stop believing in her. He supported her. Then more ppl did. Hundreds of them all played a part in her recovery. If people hadn't helped her she would be dead now. Instead, she now works with the homeless and with children - she gives back and is now helping ppl who were in her situation. She never chose to live on the streets, she had no choice. And she fought to get her life back and get off drugs through terrible mental illness and things which still haunt her to this day.

There are hundreds of different stories like this - it doesn't matter the age, or sex of the person. In the current financial climate, ppl really are in desperate need of help. I noticed when I lived in the states there were a lot of ppl begging simply for food - or saying they'd work for food for their family. I find that tragic.

Someone said a saying here, and my Grandmother says it too "there but for the grace of God go I." You could easily have been born into one of these situations, something could still happen to put you in a situation where you are homeless (I pray it doesn't.) If you could try to put yourself in these people's situations, it might help give you a different perspective on them.

There are lots of great books and films on the subject, just to show that it's not always a choice. Have you seen 'Slumdog Millionaire' - that's a great film showing how these things happen to innocent ppl. In fact, I'd say 99% of the time choice doesn't come into the matter at all.

I'm just sharing a story with you here and I hope you don't take offence by it - none is intended. Why do you think that it's a choice to be a bum though? I'm guessing you have a reason to believe this.


Edited by Horror_Movies_Editor (08/02/11 06:09 PM)
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#705179 - 08/02/11 06:04 PM Re: Do you give money to bums? [Re: ExerciseEditor]
Jilly Offline
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Monica, i am not being PC. I just don't like the word bum for these people because it could easily be me and i would hate to know people were calling me a bum. So it's actually me being selfish saying i don't like that word.

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