But some of you are going to think that it is.
A few days ago, I wrote a post about giving money to people who are homeless. And I said it was a rule designed to keep us from developing relationships. I believe that, but even more than that, it is about there being an “us” and a “them”.
Why is it ok that we give someone in our office a gift card to Applebee’s for their birthday, but we won’t give a man on the street corner a $5 bill – but we will give him a blanket, or a happy meal or a gift card to McDonalds?
Inevitably, the answer comes back that we don’t know how they are going to spend the money – they might use it to buy drugs or beer or whatever. But for some reason, we don’t care what the person at our office buys at Applebee’s. I mean, they sell beer at Applebee’s. What if our officemate buys a beer with our gift card? What if they are diabetic, and they buy a chocolate fudge brownie?
What? You don’t care what they buy? Why is that? Why are you so concerned about the man holding the sign, and not concerned about the woman in your office?
I submit it is because you see the woman in your office as a different sort of person than you do the man on the street corner. And for some reason, you think you have the right to make decisions concerning what the man on the street corner can and cannot do, while recognizing you have no such right concerning your co-worker.