Saturday, June 28, 2014

Money Guy

This blog post is only single-sourced -- but from a reliable source -- and fits so neatly with what is plausible and how people involved are known to think, I deem it as passing muster for ‘being true’ such to warrant passing the information on to you, the public, through this blog.

I’ve neither met nor seen him, but I’ve certainly heard about him. There is a fellow who passes out two-dollar bills to homeless folk at a spot near to the Loaves & Fishes Compound on Ahern near North B St.  I hear that when he does this it is usually [or always?] on Wednesdays. A long line will form when the Guy arrives to pass out his currency. I’m told that sometimes he pays double, giving two two-dollar bills to each person.

I cannot think of anything that could be more certainly-legal in Sacramento or anywhere else in the United States than the right to pass out money. Money Guy gives people two or four dollars in exchange for nothing. [In other words, his two-dollar bills are a VERY good buy!] There is no danger of the currency being contaminated; it's not food that has spoiled -- it won't make you sick. The homeless people who line up aren’t required to get in line nor take the money. They involve themselves in the transaction with Money Guy freely, voluntarily and willingly. They are not coerced. And there is no problem with littering! If any of the homeless folk should wad up their bill and toss it on the ground, another homeless person quickly picks it up and sneaks it into his pocket.

I’m told that someone at Loaves & Fishes’ intervened with the police to make Money Guy stop his practice of passing out currency. In the past, L&F has been as odds with citizens feeding homeless people in the vicinity of the Loaves & Fishes Compound. And it is known that L&F wants to control things within its expanded compound (after the New Friendship Park is built – if that ever happens). This gets support from local businesses which want less to happen near 12th Street (which would be walled off from L&F and its nastiness if the New Park and other construction L&F seeks gets OKed and is funded through donations.) The 12th Street businesses have suffered a lot over the years from the messes that some rascal homeless people make.

Loaves & Fishes has offered Money Guy space in (Old) Friendship Park where he could pass out money, but Money Guy refused that venue as a place for him to do his thing. I would suppose (and hope) that Money Guy thinks it inappropriate for Loaves & Fishes to try to take some credit for what Money Guy does on his own. And, likely, Money Guy doesn’t want to seem to endorse Loaves & Fishes.

I am impressed at how laudable Money Guy’s charitable practice is. It seems clearly to be a purely compassionate effort by the man. In Buddhism there is this thing called “Idiot Compassion” where people alloy doing some good thing with their need to get credit for what they do. Money Guy doesn’t need or accept an ego boost; his compassion isn’t neurotic like that of the leaders at Loaves & Fishes.

Here is how Chogyam Trungpa defines idiot compassion:

It is perhaps most important in working with others that we do not develop idiot compassion, which means always trying to be kind. Since this superficial kindness lacks courage and intelligence, it does more harm than good. It is as though a doctor, out of apparent kindness, refuses to treat his patient because the treatment might be painful, or as though a mother cannot bear the discomfort of disciplining her child. Unlike idiot compassion, real compassion is not based upon a simple-minded avoidance of pain. Real compassion is uncompromising in its allegiance to basic sanity. People who distort the path – that is, people who are working against the development of basic sanity – should be cut through on the spot if need be. That is extremely important there is no room for idiot compassion. We should try to cut through as much self-deception as possible in order to teach others as well as ourselves. So the final cop-out of a bodhisattva is when, having already achieved everything else, he is unable to go beyond idiot compassion.
Money Guy doesn’t get in the papers for what he does, he just does that which gives ALL the benefit to the targeted recipients. We don’t know Money Guy’s name. He’s not seeking attention for himself, just less misery for others.

Contrariwise, Libby and Joan and Chris Delany are always mighty keen to take credit and be front and center to get (utterly undeserved) praise.  They go through paroxysms of delight as if they are little children if praise comes their way. Pictured at left, Chris and Libby leading a homeless parade, not long after squealing in rapture after Mayor Johnson called Libby, Joan and Chris “Charlie’s Angels.” Libby, Joan and Chris LOOK about as much like Charlie’s Angels and ARE about as much like Charlies Angels as any three average old women look like or are Charlie’s Angels.

While with Money Guy 100% of the benefit of his money that is passed out goes to the targets of his beneficence, Loaves & Fishes has in the past been audited which had consistently shown that less than 25%* of the benefit of what they collect (usually as donations) finally comes to homeless (or other poor) people in the form of some kind of benefit. Thus, Money Guy is MORE THAN FOUR TIMES more efficient than Loaves & Fishes was in aiding others. And with Money Guy you get cash on the barrelhead, something you can exchange for whatever best helps you; with Loaves & Fishes you might get a pair of socks that doesn’t fit or food you can’t eat or counselling that is inappropriate.

YOU, The Man, Money Guy!

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* Note that these government audits were long long ago, based on the value of all that came to the charity [from monetary donations, volunteer work and items of every kind] contrasted with a judgment of the value of what was passed forward to homeless and other poor people. 

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