Let’s have an argument. As we begin to discuss the topic of whether or not to give money to panhandlers, and under what circumstances or conditions, we’ll experience the need to define some terms and lay out some causal conditions. We may even have to refute the good arguments made by classmates. In fifteen minutes, I hope to be able to illustrate the basics of persuasive argument.
I always give to panhandlers
I give to female panhandlers
I give to panhandlers who are missing a limb
I give to panhandlers who convince me they’re wounded or ill
I give to panhandlers if I have spare pocket change
I give to panhandlers if I don’t have to look through my wallet for a small bill
I give to panhandlers if they keep their distance
I give to panhandlers I see every day or so
I give to panhandlers I think I’m unlikely to see ever again
I give to panhandlers who look truly desperate
I give to panhandlers who appear to be very temporarily down on their luck
I give to panhandlers who look employable if they got a haircut and a clean shirt
I give to panhandlers if they offer anything in return
I give to panhandlers whose signs show wit
I give to panhandlers whose signs demonstrate real need
I give to panhandlers who say they’re single parents or veterans
I give to panhandlers who say they will work for food
I give to panhandlers who I feel certain will use the money for food
I give to panhandlers if their signs mention God
I give to panhandlers whose stories move me
I give food to panhandlers, never money
I take panhandlers into stores and let them buy things
I buy panhandlers meals at outdoor restaurants
I look at panhandlers and smile
I mutter something to panhandlers as I pass
I apologize that I have no money to spare
I say I’ll help them shortly and then do
I say I’ll help them shortly and then don’t
I have brief conversations with panhandlers
I pretend I do not see or hear panhandlers
I never give to panhandlers
I never give to panhandlers whose signs mention God
I never give to panhandlers who are dressed at all well
I never give to male panhandlers
I never give to female panhandlers
I never give to panhandlers who ask aggressively
I never give to panhandlers who approach me at a stop sign in my car
I never give to panhandlers who make me feel trapped
I never give to panhandlers who block traffic or the sidewalk
I never give to panhandlers who use the same spot for years
I never give to panhandlers who “clean” my windshield
I never give to panhandlers who seem crazy
I never give to panhandlers who have cell phones
Go on the Record
In a Reply below, lay out your position on panhandlers in a few sentences, citing claims like those above or others that work better for you.
- At a minimum, go on the record about:
- What you actually do
- What you wish you could do
- What you know you should do
When we’ve committed to positions, we’ll “mix it up” for awhile and illustrate the basics of persuasive argument.
I never give to panhandlers that come up to your car for safety purposes of me and them. I am more inclined to give cash to panhandlers who are honest with what they actually want to buy. I give to any-panhandler who claims they are a veteran. If I am being nagged by a pan handler I will offer to buy them what they need instead of just giving cash. I wish I could decipher who really needs the money so I could always give it to those people. I know I should give money to everyone because I’m in a position where I am capable to.
Please don’t think I’m criticizing you, PM. I’m not. Just a thought: real generosity is giving from need, not plenty.
I do not give money to panhandlers because i do not want them to use the money to aid in their struggle, meaning i don’t want them to use the money on a bad influence in their life such as: drugs, alcohol, etc. i would rather give them food or water to help them.
1. Give a dollar or keep walking
2. Take them to a Wawa and get them a meal
3. Have. a conversation with them
We could be friends.
1. I pretend I don’t see or hear panhandlers.
2. I wish I could have brief conversations with panhandlers.
3. I know I should give panhandlers food, but never money.
If they misuse the money, does that change your gift?
Most of the time, I usually do not give to panhandlers because it’s either because I’m in the car and don’t have cash. Sometimes I am approached in public places by some people begging but I feel uncomfortable in that situation. But usually, I’m more than willing to give to a panhandler if they do not look dangerous and I’m not bothered. What I wish I could actually do is give a bit to each panhandler because I care about people’s well beings but I know I cannot give to everyone. I know every once in a while I should offer up some money to a panhandler because I rarely do not see them around anymore.
Good to plan ahead with a couple loose dollars in your pocket.
1. I give spare change depending on how I am approached, I’m more likely to do it if I’m left distance to do it myself. Most of the time I just either avoid eye contact or give a slight smile and wave and keep pushing.
2. I wish I could give those people food, I don’t really like giving anybody money but especially panhandlers. I have a very personal relationship when it comes to panhandlers and if they truly need help and just want food, that is a better deal than giving them money.
3. I don’t think I “should know” anything to do. I think if you’re able to make a positive difference in someones life, I think you should but only under the right conditions and if it’s actually needed.
But you do declare what you “should do,” and it’s admirable.
Normally I wouldn’t give money to panhandlers because they aren’t always poor one time we saw a man who was dressed as homeless in new york and not too long later he was dressed in a suit. I would usually give to children but besides that, I try not to give out. I wish I could know if they were really panhandlers maybe If I just had a conversation with the once I would know for sure that could help me make a decision. I know I shouldn’t give my money to the crazy-crackhead panhandlers who are screaming or who are asking for money for alcohol. I also know I should be more generous however, I think It’s hard to judge certain people compared to others so I would rather just not give them money normally.
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Maybe offer them a backrub instead.
My position on panhandlers, is that I never give to them. This is because I was just raised to think that they were dangerous people, and that if I see one, I should just keep walking. Although I did feel bad when I saw people struggle and I wish I could help, my parents would never let me. I haven’t seen one too recently that I was able to give to, but if I had something small to give, I most likely would. I know I should give to panhandlers, especially those who have children or are veterans, but again I have not come across one recently that has valid reasons to which I should help them.
That’s a good heart seeking a chance, RL. If I suggest to you that nobody chooses to panhandle, that the fact that someone does it at all is sufficient evidence of need, would that help nudge you to give? Will you be scammed in 1% of cases? Maybe? Does it matter? Will it make your action any different?
When I interact with panhandlers I apologize for having no change because I never have cash. If I do have spare cash I give it away. I don’t think I have any requirements for when I give unhoused people money. I have plenty of family that have been unhoused and have experience with not having consistent housing. I know it’s not their fault and don’t deserve the position they’re in. I should give whatever change I have because it’s always going to be easier for me to recover anything I’m giving than it would be for them to make it themselves.
Love this, QR.
Usually, I like to listen to their stories, and see if they move me. Also, I usually keep a look out for things like if they have cell phones or decent clothing, and also if they stop by the same spot for a long time. If none of those things happen, then I give at least a little something. I wish give more to those that actually offer something in return. Honestly, what I should do is just be on a look out for things that may be suspicious like cell phones, good clothes, craziness, etc.
That’s a good heart.
If I have spare singles, I always give them away when I’m in the city. I do not really focus on giving the money away to certain people, I usually give it to the first person I see. I will be hesitant if they have a phone or if they seem like they are faking for money. What I wish I could do is teach people to go and change your life because you will feel so much better not being stuck in the same bad place, all you need to do is make that change. I know I should try bringing a panhandler into a store to buy food because this feel so good to give back and get someone food that needs it.
“all you need to do . . . .”
So easy to say.
I give to panhandlers who look truly desperate
I say I’ll help them shortly and then don’t
I never give to panhandlers who ask aggressively
What I would do is probably nothing, if you’re in a rush then you could not have enough time to get to know them and have a feeling towards them rather than just handing them money. What I wish I could do would be to understand why they ended up where they are now, to learn and then provide them with some things they might need to hold on to longer. What I know I should do is either not. give into the scam that some people pretend to be a panhandler and do this as a hustle, but to also not give money to someone who I know for sure they are going to use the money for drugs or enjoyment
1. I never give to panhandlers that approach my car for safety reasons.
2. I wish I could know exactly who was going to use the money for something legitimate and who wasn’t (ie: who is going to use it for food VS who is going to use it for drugs)
3. I know I should give money to everyone due to their impoverished condition
Nobody is obligated to reduce individual poverty, but it’s easy to feel obligated, isn’t it?
In actuality, I almost never give money to panhandlers. On occasion, I will give when I have cash in my pocket (not my wallet) and know that I am unlikely to see them again. I have given cash to a panhandler who needed bus far late into the night. I had enough in my pocket to cover the fare and did not recognize them as local to my neighborhood. I have given food when traveling outside of the neighborhood around my apartment, when I lived in the city.
I wish that I could help all the panhandlers, but it is beyond the means of any normal person to so. The systemic issues that the homeless face are deep and wide-ranging. They are routinely criminalized and antagonized by the cities they reside in and are rarely offered ways to escape the crushing poverty of homelessness. For instance, in some municipalities sleeping in a car parked on a street is illegal for no reason other than to criminalize homelessness. Laws like this and their associated fines can push the employed homeless into unemployment, as it can cause them to lose their means of transportation and shelter.
In truth, almost all panhandlers need money. I am unsure if should give to every panhandler. It’s a self-serving notion to want to save everyone. I struggle to know what I should do.
Struggling with the question was the point.
When seeing a panhandler I feel bad according to how they look, some look like they’re faking it. I get nervous or scared when they walk up to the car so I never help then because who knows what could happen. When walking by them, I help by telling them to get something in a store nearby because i’d rather know I paid for food then giving them money to do who knows what with. I wish I could help all of those in need, I know how difficult it could be to be in a position of need. And it could be hard to get out of that position, it takes a lot of strength and time. I wish I could get all homeless people off the streets. I know that I may have more then them but it’s still not as much so I can’t help everyone.
I hope you don’t mind being asked to struggle with this question in a writing course, blueeeeeeee.
I am more likely to give cash to panhandlers who are parents or veterans. I will offer to buy them food but most likely won’t give cash unless I know the whole situation. I know I should give money to everyone but sometimes it is nerve wracking in case they use it for drugs.
This is a completely ethics-based position.
When seeing a panhandler, I feel sympathetic for them, but usually never give money. Too many people out there have poor motives or intentions. You know nothing about them, so how could you know if what’s written on their sign is true? People could be faking it or using the money on drugs or other things that put them in that situation in the first place. Just because you give them money for food, doesn’t mean they’ll use that money on food like they claimed they would. It’s a gamble, and can be risky or dangerous when they approach you or come up to your car. People, including myself, are more likely to give money and feel empathetic when it’s woman or children. I wish I could help everyone off the streets, especially young kids that haven’t had any control in being in that position of need.
What you actually do
With regret, I apologize that I have no money to spare
What you wish you could do
I wish I could have brief conversations
What you know you should do
I know I should give them food, but never money
Thank you for taking the time to carefully describe the whole debate inside your head, tmjj! 🙂
1. I usually will try and offer food before giving money. 2. I wish I could get them a temporary living situation so they can attempt to repurpose themselves in society. 3. I think what I know I should do is do enough to help a little bit but teach them more of a lesson to inspire them to actually make a change rather than just keep doing this everyday.
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That’s a very nuanced but very confusing final option, GoBirds.
-The scene in the movie was flawed and didn’t make sense because the main character in the film tried to lift himself and his car using air from the tires and a device he happened to have on him. Releasing pressure from the tires wouldn’t be enough to lift the car. The scene would never happen in real life and was for movie purposes.
-In some states, collecting rainwater is restricted, such as in Colorado where there are limitations on how rainwater can be used for non-potable purposes and watering plants. Talking about different ways of the whole rainwater debacle makes you really form an opinion on it.
-The ransom note made me think about having a bold and clear premise, providing specific details to support your reasoning. Do not use vague statements and be clear.
-The panhandler discussion makes you think about forming an opinion which then turns into an argument. What should you do for these people and what circumstances would you actually give to them?
1. I would actually give them a couple of dollars and smile
2. I wish I could help them find a job and help them get back on their feet
3. I should just give them food and maybe some clothes.
1. I don’t give too panhandlers.
2. I wish i could ask how they got to this position and what they need to money for.
3. I know i should give money.
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I have never actually given to a panhandler because I have never had the opportunity. I do not think I would if I had the opportunity because it’s hard to figure out if those people actually need the money or if they do not. I wish I could help those in need by buying them things that they need such as food. I think instead of giving money to panhandlers I think I should donate to places that can help them like soup kitchens and food pantries or shelters.
What I actually do when I see panhandlers is I give whatever change or a couple dollar bills that I have on me but overall I usually just avoid people asking for money. I don’t always have cash on me and I feel bad when I have nothing to give. What I wish I could do is give money when they ask because more often than not people who are begging for money really need it and I would like to help them anyway I can. What I know I should do is give people food and water and other necessities that can help them other than money.
1. What you actually do: I honestly do not do anything because of fear. I have no idea if the panhandlers are dangerous, on drugs, or merely lying about their situation. So I sadly do not do anything about it.
2. What you wish you could do: I wish I could help them no matter what I think. I wish I had the courage to go up to them and offer them money or food. But I always go with what my parents taught me: do not approach panhandlers.
3. What you know you should do: I know I should help them.
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I will offer you no advice to contradict the good lesson your parents taught you, Shazammmmmm.
1. What you actually do
Keep granola bars in my bag so i’ll give them that
2. What you wish you could do
Give them a job
3. What you know you should do
I’m not quite sure what the morally correct answer is. Varies on the person that is asking for money, i’ll never know if what they actually need is what they are asking for.
The vast majority of homeless people have suffered severe Traumatic Brain Injury and need continuing medical treatment.
1. I try and only help out those who need food so I don’t end up supporting a drug addiction. 2. I wish I could get them on their feet temporarily to give them a shot at getting a role in society again. 3. I think what I should be doing is what I already do
-I give to panhandlers if I have spare change or a small bill
-I wish I could take panhandlers into stores and let them buy what they want
-I know I should try to see if they are valid before giving them money or direct buy them food.
It’s harder to feel good about giving if you’ve put conditions on who receives and how, Anonymous.
1. I always feel sad when I see panhandlers. I never give, though. I feel bad when I don’t but I feel I do this because I feel they could be faking it and they don’t need anything. Which makes me sad because what if I come across a panhandler and they truly aren’t “faking it?” What if they truly need money for food or clothes instead of using the money for bad.
2. If I could, I wish I could donate to those who truly need it. Whether it be money, food, etc.
3. I should try to give panhandlers food. I shouldn’t give panhandlers money as I would not want them to use it for bad intentions.
Sounds as if you had to think about this one.
1. The majority of the time I ignore them because I don’t usually carry cash
2. I wish I could take panhandlers into stores and let them buy things, but how can I know they are genuinely in need or someone pretending
3. I know that I should help anyone that is truly in need of help.
A former student once reached out to me in what appeared to be real need, so I drove to where he was staying and did my best to understand his situation, which he made very difficult. I bought him lunch, bought him groceries, bought him some basic clothing items, and gave him no cash. I still don’t know if he was hoping to sucker me for money or was just not very good at expressing appreciation, but he didn’t seem particularly grateful.
The experience was unsatisfying.
But it should give you an indication how I might react if you were ever in need. Nothing will change us. Life only makes us more of what we are.
I am more likely to give it to someone who is a parent or veteran. I give them a little bit of money or if I don’t have any I at least say hello and smile. I wish I could always give them food or money. It is hard to know if they are telling the truth. I wish I could help by giving them clothes and taking them out to eat.
That last example can be very rewarding and still not completely satisfying.
I rarely give to panhandlers. I wish I could give to panhandlers while consistently and simultaneously having a good conscious that they wouldn’t use my charity for drugs or other poor reasons. I know I should give to panhandlers, but I don’t. They’re less fortunate than me and giving to them is always the morally-good thing to do. However, I’m a horrible person and I don’t have much money myself. Despite having more money than the unfortunate panhandlers, I still cling to every dollar and I need to look out for myself.
Invest wisely and someday you’ll buy them a house.
1. Most of the time I walk by really fast or will not give money but occasionally I will give them pocket change or food that I have at hand if they sound and look desperate. I hand them food if I just came from a food place.
2. I wish could provide them with a meal or help their situation more. Some people are in a very difficult position and might have children or just need to get their life together.
3. I should be more generous and perhaps give more money however it’s hard to know well what their situation is and if they have good or bad motives for needing the money.
I certainly agree, but I try to give anyone and not make them prove their intentions.
I never give to panhandlers because I never have any money to spare. All of my money goes into savings or is spent on necessities and I rarely have spare money to give to them. I wish I had the means to buy a meal for the panhandlers. I distinctly remember my mom buying a meal for a panhandler on Christmas Day when I was a child and it has always remained a goal of mine to buy a meal for a panhandler whenever I see one, but finances always stand in my way. I know I should give them whatever I can. Their lives are harder than mine and they have less support than I do, so they deserve what I can give them.
No tougher ethical question than being in charge of deciding who “deserves” what.
When I walk by panhandlers, I try to just keep to myself and avoid eye contact because in the world we live in we cannot always trust people and we do not know their intentions behind what they say, the signs they hold up, and the people they are with. I wish I could stop and give money or food to the panhandlers if I knew that they were really in need and struggling everyday to survive. I know that I should acknowledge panhandlers and give to them when I see or walk past them.
It’s a tough call.