Louisiana Floods, Malcolm Turnbull & Acts of Kindness
Malcolm Turnbull, PM of Australia, was in the news this week.
He got into trouble for giving a homeless man some money on his way to an important meeting. He gave the man the money and shook his hand.
Some people pounced on him for only giving $5. It’s too little, they said. He should have given the man one of the $20 or $50 notes he had in his other hand.
Then some people said that giving money is not the answer to the homeless problem. There are professional beggars as well as genuine homeless people on the streets of our cities.
Medicine Hat, a town in Canada, solved their homeless problem (at that time in 2015). The problem has come back with the economic downturn.
They said that Malcolm should have taken the man to a café or food shop to buy him some food. Otherwise the man might use the money to buy cigarettes or alcohol. With $5? Just as well he gave him $5. Plus he was on the way to a meeting. The PM, I mean.
Perhaps Malcolm could hire this man to attend other meetings in his place. Wouldn’t that make the headlines!
This homeless man might feel somewhat bemused to be at the centre of this media storm. “Duh? So what? I got $5 more than I got from other people. And he shook my hand too!”
Malcolm said that he felt sorry for the man when he saw him sitting on the road with his sign. Why punish him for an Act of Kindness? Whether he gave the man $5 or $50 or $500, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
If he had given the man $20 or $50, it might increase the chance that he’d go off and buy cigarettes, alcohol or even drugs.
With $5, he’s more likely to buy some hot chips or a cheeseburger and a coffee at McDonalds or Hungry Jacks.
Give the man a break, will ya?
Acts of Kindness do not need explanations or justifications.
Louisiana Floods worse than Sandy or Hurricane Katrina
Many people in Louisiana USA have lost everything in the recent floods. They still have their homes but most of all their belongings are ruined. Many of their homes have been too damaged and are now inhabitable. They have to rebuild again.
The sad thing is that many of these people like in Baton Rouge had no flood insurance because floods were not normal for that area of Louisiana. Insurance companies breathe a sigh of relief. This flood could cost over $30 million (initial estimates).
In their situation, Acts of Kindness from neighbours and even strangers from anywhere in the world, would be very welcomed. In this case, money could help them to replace some of the things that they have lost.
Live Long & Prosper. Peace.
Photo credit from March 2016 floods in Mississippi and Louisiana.