I went to the grocery store today to get a few sale items and something to grill for supper. Before I even get in the store I am accosted by a little baseball player with his cap out begging for money. Daddy was standing behind him holding a sign that said something about Cooperstown. Kind of like the old organ grinder and his monkey. Except there was no entertainment. There was nothing. No product being sold, no service being offered. Just a kid begging with the support of his dad.
What is this teaching the kid? Here are some things he’s probably learning:
- Don’t worry about working for what you want, just ask for a handout.
- You are so important – you deserve this trip.
- Daddy will support you, because you are so important.
Let me make two things clear so you don’t think I’m an ogre. One, I am not totally against begging. I will gladly give to someone who is in need. A trip to Cooperstown is not a need. Second, I will buy the overpriced popcorn, wrapping paper, and cookie dough that my neighborhood kids or friends’ children sell. I do it more to show I support our relationship, but I also know schools and organizations have needs and this is one way to meet them.
Next time I may just have to say something. I answered, “Not today,” to the little athlete, but I meant “No, not ever.”
Photo by Naypong