The Banana

By Christopher Sebastian McJetters

I see homeless people with enough (disturbing) regularity that i learned to carry around a little food to share. Yesterday a man approached me when I was coming out of the post office and asked if I could help him get something to eat. I led him to my car and offered him a bag of chips and a banana. He looked at me for a second and said with a reluctant smirk, “I’ll take the banana, but I’ll pass on the chips.” Immediately, I judged him as being picky.

But he continued by pulling down his lip and said, “I don’t have enough teeth.” And my privilege was swiftly checked. Long-term homeless people don’t have access to dental insurance.

If you can, please share food (hopefully soft). And don’t be afraid to give a dollar when you can afford to do so. Worrying about whether or not your single is going toward drugs or alcohol says more about you than it does about the person you’re judging.

[Read more about respectfully and compassionately responding to panhandling at Everyday Feminism.]

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