How do you treat you consider less fortunate?

@ptower76 (1619)
United States
August 12, 2010 5:02pm CST
Today as i left home for work, I came across an individual collecting cans and plastics for recycling. I usually don't pay much attention to these individuals but i could not help noticing as i was waiting for my ride, that the individual was clean. Clean shaved with clean well pressed clothing. Something told me to talk to him and so i started a conversation with the individual. Turns out he lost his job and collected unemployment for a while and realized that he can make more money recycling than making minimum wage. Also, since he was not able to find work immediately and he had to house, clothe, and feed a wife and a child, he chose to collect cans. It raised a question in my mind. What would most people think if they saw this individual. Would they prejudge him? Would they avoid him? What would you do? Why is this individual any different than any one of us just because he chooses to do a job many of us would consider beneath us?
8 responses
@myiesha (97)
• Singapore
13 Aug 10
That was a good gesture of you. We should always treat others with respect regardless of their social status. I salute this guy for his courage, for wanting to provide for his family decently.
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
That is exactly how i felt. I look at him as an equal in values and morals.
• Singapore
15 Aug 10
That's how it should be, just because he's doing meanial job doesn't make him a lesser person. But to be really honest, sometimes prejudice gets in the way that we tend to demean others.
@kreasa03 (54)
• Philippines
13 Aug 10
I salute that man for he wasn't discouraged to be defeated by life's trial , he stood up where he had fallen he swallowed his pride just to provide a meal for his family.That's our everyday hero and people shouldn't look down and consider beneath them.
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
I like the way you put that. A person like that can indeed become a role model for many in this world.
• United Arab Emirates
13 Aug 10
I dont know in which country this thing happened...but if this would have happend in the western country there would have been no questions raised as dignity of labour is high in thoese countries. In asia i know it would be considered a low job. One day i was walking with my friend and a beggar cam to me and spoke in english and asked me for a rupee...i was shocked as the first language in india is not english and you need to be a learned person to know good english. I was just wondering what must have happened to this person to turn into a beggar.
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
Well, this happened in New York City and many Americans still would consider this individual as beneath them because they may connect this person with stereotypes or prejudgments about this type of work. It is a key thing that you pointed out with considering not that a person is in a bad situation, but what brought the person to that point so that options can be considered to avoid it happening again.
• United States
13 Aug 10
Well that's like trash men they make a lot more then most people but everyone looks at them like there dirty or some thing. there are a lot of things like that i try not to judge but we all do. i would have been confused and said some thing myself. but then i feel odd walking to the store with bags full of can's. But then it is good to recycle and it's a little extra money. It should not matter what some one dose as long as they are not hurting people. right?
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
Its true, in New York City Sanitation workers (trash men), earn more than police officers. As you say, as long as they are not hurting anyone and also not a burden to society.
@fannitia (2172)
• Bulgaria
12 Aug 10
Congratulations for the good topic! And for the gesture towards this man. Everyone of us could fall into a bad period and I think he has chosen to deal with it with honesty and proud. But I'm sure that many people would be stunned and even ashamed to see one of their friends collecting cans. Maybe most of them will avoid him. So much the worse for them.
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
Thanks, I agree, knowledge comes from all walks of life and avoiding one path will diminish our experiences.
• United States
12 Aug 10
when my daughter was little. I had a car and would get up really early in the morning to go to peoples house and get the cans and bottles from the recycling bucket in front of their homes. I would never think anything of this man. matter of fact I would ask him if he would like my cans from my home. My mother saved her soda cans for this man once a week.
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
14 Aug 10
My family also did this when i was a child only then is was pepsi and coke 16oz =.02 and 32oz = .05. Tell you the truth, it was a beginning for many of the young children of the community to learn responsibility that comes from work.
@clevengay (129)
• Philippines
15 Aug 10
i always feel pity to them..but very proud because they don't do illegal things..besides, they are earning to make their family live and eat 3 meals everyday..
@jennyze (7049)
• Indonesia
13 Aug 10
I tried not to look down on people less fortunate, because I know that fate may turn on me and I'll be one of them. Also, because often those people doing jobs beneath us turned out to be richer than us, if not in a grand way. They do not have debts, they have money for foods everyday, they can send their children to school, they can buy new clothes. If I have to pay my debts and credit card invoices all together, I may end up in a street with not even money to buy foods.