It's early morning, about 7:30am, and I am on my way from St Stephens Green to Henry Street. In the course of this 15 minute walk I am approached by or questioned by approximately 5 people looking for some cold hard free cash...
This is something that has begun to bother me as I spend a fair bit of time walking around town. I am finding myself completely ignoring these requests or just lying so as to make a speedy get away. I don't like the way its making me feel. In the past I had no problem digging out a couple of coins and handing them over to someone I felt really needed them. Now I just can't tell!!
Not only is it cash people are looking for but now I hide my cigarette as I walk past people sitting on the street with a little cup in front of them, dreading the inevitable "Have you got a spare smoke bud?" Yes I do have some cigarettes but they are feckin expensive!!
In this day and age I find it difficult to get from the start of one month to the next without the added hassle of handing over cash and cigarettes to people I don't know.
But this is the problem. I have always been quite charitable and understanding but this is changing. Now I walk away and feel a deep sense of guilt inside even though I know that I can actually not afford it. Changing the side of street you walk down, pretending you don't see someone, listening to music so you can ignore the questions.
There are definitely more people on the streets everyday looking for money and I wish there was a solution to help all these people. I just don't believe that I am that solution. Does the money people hand over go toward that mysterious hostel or food? Or does it go toward drink and drugs? All I know is that the whole issue makes me feel very mean. Damn.