Working versus begging

It was a rainy day in Auburn a few days ago, and I remember feeling pity for the Round Table employee that was out on the sidewalk, right at the intersection, waving around his green sign as his employee hat and his green employee shirt were being soaked.

I wondered how much that guy was being paid for such a crappy job.

A moment later I spotted another guy on the opposite side of the street, also holding a sign. This guy wore no uniform except tattered clothes that clearly expressed his belonging to the street, and his sign stated simply, "Hungry and Broke."

Both guys were working, and both guys were making money doing the same kind of work.

I judged the street guy a little bit harshly in my mind, looking down on him for not having a "real" job.

I judged the Round Table man as being more upright and respectable because he was working an "actual" job.

I couldn't get over the fact that they were doing the exact same job.

People were handing out money from inside their car to street guy, who nodded his gratitude while they quickly rolled up their windows to keep the rain out of their dry interiors.

Round Table guy wasn't getting any monetary recognition on the street. No tips. No love. Maybe people were rushing in to buy pizzas because of his encouraging signage, but, whether that happened or not, he'd still be paid the same hourly wage.

Street guy would probably make more money than usual on this rainy day. He'd capitalize on sympathy.

My judgment of street guy neutralized. He was a beggar, sure. A self-employed beggar. A street entrepreneur?

My judgment of Round Table man became less reverent and more "whatever."

Both were just two guys trying to make a buck so that they could continue living and funding whatever existence they were after in this life.

The people driving around that day would determine where their dollars would go. They were the consumers. They drove the market that would decide to either fill the pockets of a bum or the cash register at Round Table.

Who am I to judge?

How do you judge?

...ramble on...

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