... some people think me hopelessly silly and naive. I'm ok with that. There's worse things to be thought of. Like cynical and pessimistic... which I used to be both.
One particular evening I was out with my son and another family and we came across a pan handler. I stopped and gave him some change and we kept going. Nothing else was said about the incident. After dinner, on the way back to the car, we passed the same corner where the pan handler was. Only this time he stood holding his cardboard sign begging alms in one hand while the other held the cell phone he talked in to
The friend I was with seized this opportunity as a teaching moment for his son... "See, Son, this is why you don't give to people on the street. They use it for alcohol, drugs or cell phones. If he was really poor he'd use the money he is given for food and not a cell phone."
I don't believe charity works like that. You don't give expecting it to be under conditional terms. I think the only thing that was taught that night was how to make a nine year old little child jaded and cynical.