I find the term "the street inhabitants" politically correct for those people who ask the passengers for money on the streets. We call them "beggars", "vagrants" or generally "the poor". But I suggest the term above more polite. Pardon me if some of you take the phrase as nonsense but I don't want to abuse them - the street inhabitants (though they possibly won't read the article).
We see them everywhere: underground, up the ground, on the ground... Wearing "sandwich" clothes, they beg us to help them with money or (rare) with food. They walk more slowly than the general mass of passengers and stare at people's face, mumbling the words of request. They are of different nationalities and have different life stories: true and false. Our reaction towards them is quite predictable. We pass by, we don't look at them, we keep strong or irritated faces, busy with our problems. You see, I can't blame us. I just consider us as inexperienced and unaware of life facts.
I started writing this article due to my own recollection of such meetings with the street inhabitants. It is always awkward for me to go by because my mind falls apart. I'm not nervous about them, no, I sympathize with. But there is a question: should I give them several rubles? Will it help them? And the main one: do they REALLY run short of finance? I suppose that the last question reflects the reason why most of us don't pay any attention to them. We just doubt their poverty or inability to work and earn money. We can't believe that there is no another opportunity to gain something for living. We deny the worse and blame such street "neighbours" for their passive existence. I used to hear people say: They are not the true poor, they deceive us, they are richer then us! Well, sometimes it's right, sometimes not...
I do think that the true street inhabitants exist. Everything can happen in this world: catastrophes, accidents, frauds - everything! Well, of course, the special social care helps them to survive but it is not possible in every case. They may have no relatives at all, they may be not citizens of the country they work, they may have no home. But we can't distinguish the true ones from the false. Can you explain why you pass by the street inhabitants?
I pass by because I'm in a hurry (that’s not the reason).
I pass by because I can't supply them with money every day (because I see them every time I go to my university), I'm not a millionaire.
I pass by because I DON'T have enough money for myself! (Though you can never guess that when looking at me)
I pass by and try to look more patient for them. I don't want to look morally better than the "street" people. I don't want to show any superiority... But I pass by... and feel pangs of remorse... and think whether I'm impolite or greedy.
We know about the swindlers who practise such business - people work for them, suitably disguised. We are aware of the alcoholics and draggers who need money for another portion. But again, do we have any right to judge them? We can't predict what can happen with us in several years.
That's a global problem. And our opinions separate into numerous versions. Perhaps, some readers will laugh at me telling that I'm too sensitive or advising me to "relax and take it easy". But I hope that some of you will appreciate and share my thoughts. Still, I can’t decide what behaviour is better, what shall deed is correct.
I guess that most of us can’t look at them because they see the real life, the way it can change your social position. The street inhabitants serve a certain symbol; they come into our world of comfort and peace, then ruin everything to the bottom. They indicate that no one is insured up to 100% from the collapse.
It’s obvious that we can’t give the financial help to all of them at a time (we have own limits). At least, we can change our attitude towards them. We don’t have power and right to judge people. We can be wise and patient, and we can help them due to the rules of our conscience. Sure, it’s your personal decision how to act but don’t judge too fast. Yes, it is hard because our life gains speed faster and faster, forbidding us from the second thought or the third or the fourth… But nevertheless, it is worth trying.