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  • Beggars & Hobos

    So China has beggars, not a surprise there, because that is true for pretty much every country. People become beggars for a plethora of reasons ranging from it being a direct personal choice, a consequence of choices, bad luck, natural disaster, problems within the economy, company going bankrupt, among problems hundreds or thousands of other reasons. It is the same here.

    Just to be candid where I lived previously—Oklahoma—I honestly didn’t come across beggars or homeless people that much so that was yet another thing to add to my list of cultural shock ammo. Now there exists rumors that surround the perception of hobos and beggars. One such group scrutinizes the validity of poor and homeless status by telling about instances of people panhandling all day then returning home to nice apartments or other higher tiered luxuries, but that is not my intended topic for this blog. I want to quickly tell you about my experiences with them and not any socio-political causations or frameworks facilitating begging.

    Armless beggar paints flowers
    A beggar with no arms paints really good paintings of flowers with his feet

    Micah and I were walking around running errands (actually we were trying to buy me a new phone) and came across a man that was clearly trying to earn money on the street. I could see that he had some photos or maybe some paintings. Some were framed and some were not. As we got closer, I could suddenly see that he had no arms and was in fact currently painting with pastels (colored chalk) using his toes! His toes!! Art is hard enough, but these were pretty good. I did not want to cause too much of a scene or draw attention away from him so we didn’t stop to take a picture (I get very anxious when I think about disturbing people). So I took a quick pic as we were walking by, which is why it is blurry–sorry about that.

    Unfortunately, you can’t see how good these pictures were. I was thoroughly impressed with his art ability in general but doubly so considering it was done with his feet.

    It is not uncommon for people to do things such as paint or sing or craft objects or even play instruments in public places to earn money. I especially like to hear the singers and musicians play. Sometimes I will give them money. Though I am much more likely to give money for musicians or singers because they are at least trying and I will feel like these people are a little less likely to be fraudulent. I absolutely hate that we live in a world where in almost every country we cannot trust that those in desperate need are actually being truthful. I am in some sense an idealist in hope but practical in daily thought and action.

    I sincerely hope he is able to support himself well.

    May the road rise to meet you

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