Intermission Entry 23, November 9th, 2011, 12:51am (GMT +0)
I have a post and politics and personal responsibility in the writing right now, but it's not ready yet. Tomorrow.
I just opened the notebook and the entry from Amsterdam will serve as a good introduction.
From the notebook, October 17th, 2011, Amsterdam
A bum hailed me today on the street.
I ignored him.
“Hey man, don't ignore me, I'm being polite!”
Stone face. He harrumphed and shuffled off.
Now I feel bad. Or at least I did feel bad. Am I so much frightened of other humans that I can't even give people the time of day? I read somewhere that if you assume the world is threatening, it will be. That's what I did.
But I didn't ask to talk to him. He accosted me, and both of his statements were manipulative – the first overly friendly, and the second a guilt trip. I will not let myself be manipulated.
Where do the origins of poverty lie? Do they lie within a person, in poor spending habits and lack of education? Because if that is the case, giving to the poor has no point. You can't change anyone else, only they can, and so no matter how much you give they will always be poor.
Or does the cause lie externally? Because then poverty or wealth is due to chance, and I should give everything to the less fortunate in case what goes around comes around.
And what if both could be true? If we don't know where the cause of poverty lies, isn't it best to err on the side of charity? If so, then I acted wrongly.
But the fact of the matter is that I didn't want to give the guy any money. He annoyed me, and my financial resources are limited as it is. The more I give away, the further I get from having the tools to achieve my dreams.
Surreal moment of the day: a “USA” foods store here in Amsterdam. A1 sauce, Newman's Own, Betty Crocker, Ritz, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Grape Nuts, and of course the great delicacy: Fruity Pebbles!