Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘homeless

Helping Others

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Total Black: $63.02
Total Red: $230,428.32

If around lunchtime you walk by the corner of Wall Street and Water Street in downtown New York, you’ll probably see an older woman begging for change.  She’s hard to miss, especially for the guys, because you’ll probably hear “Hey handsome.  Got some change to spare.” or maybe “Hey beautiful, could you buy me a cup of coffee?”  Let’s just say she’s a bit forward in her panhandling tactics.  Initially, I avoided her, especially since she’s somewhat of a mainstay on that corner.  —I just realized the irony of my own thoughts: that after a few days of begging for change she should have been off that corner by now.  I’m nearly five months into my project and I’ve barely made a dent in my debt.  If I were dependent upon the kindness of strangers, I certainly wouldn’t have made any progress. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

December 20, 2009 at 23:08

Giving to Give or Giving to Get?

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Total Black: $286.43
Total Red: $227,843.18

I passed a woman today who clearly was homeless.  I was walking over to the gallery for the Recession Art Sale.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything on me as I had given the four dollars in cash I had on me the day before as a donation to St. John the Divine while visiting the church with my mother and sister.  But what caught my attention was my attitude about wanting to give her money.  In past blog entries like A Minor Triumph and What is This, Sarcasm? I discussed my struggles and difficulties with homelessness and panhandlers generally.  So it surprised me today that I was so willing to dole out cash.  Then I caught myself.  I wasn’t interested in giving money to this woman because I knew she was in need.  Instead, it would have provided me an opportunity to feel better about myself because I was in a position to give. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 20, 2009 at 22:40

A Minor Triumph

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Total Black: $330.01
Total Red: $228,454.60

Total black is up.  Unemployment came through.  Sent money to one of my credit cards though.  Just caved.  I can’t stand the automated telephone calls.  It’s seems every three hours it cycles back around again to my number.  I don’t know how it doesn’t rise to the level of harassment, especially when they start as early as 8:30am and call seven days a week.  No rest for the weary I suppose.

One random bit of good news: I finally gave money to a homeless man.  Too many prior entries discuss my continuing struggles with panhandlers and the like.  As I was rushing out of the subway station to get back to the temp agency—I had been there earlier in the day for an interview and was now returning for a follow-up visit—I passed a man who appeared to be sitting on the ground in front of a subway kiosk counting the money in his can.  When I looked back, I saw that he wasn’t sitting on the ground.  At least not exactly.  His legs had been amputated almost up to his hips.   As I walked by I said to myself, “You know, if he’s still here when I come back through, I’ll give him something.”  Just as I was about to walk through the turnstile, I caught myself on that lie.  What’s the likelihood that I’d see him again?  This was the Grand Central subway station.  Hugh underground complex.  So, I stopped, took out two dollars, circled back and put the bills in his can.  I don’t even think he saw me.  But that’s ok.  It was a breakthrough for me.

I mentioned in a previous entry, Change to Spare?, that Suze Orman advises giving to others so as to open ourselves to receiving from others.  I can’t say if it was chance or something higher, but a few moments later upon arriving at the temp agencies, one of the employees came to me with a job opportunity that had just come through.  It’s still pending, but then again this was only yesterday.  Curious, no?

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 3, 2009 at 23:22

The Lowly Penny

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Total Black: $29.02
Total Red: $227,913.40

I’ve stopped noting daily gains / losses; not much of any just yet.  Scrolling down through previous posts will show that and the breakdown on the 10th of each month will too.  Total black now includes twenty dollars invested in some mutual funds with American Funds.  I figure I should do that each week.  Savings have to start somehow.  Plus I gained a cent overnight.  Hey, that’s one penny closer to getting out of debt.  And it got me thinking all about the lowly penny.  Penny Keep reading . . .