In light of the usual Thanksgiving kindheartedness and do-goodery, an Austin man is taking a different approach to the situation.
“Salvation Army already came, asking if I wanted to donate. Those soup kitchen guys came. A whole mess of them. I’ll tell you the same thing now I told them then — uh-uh,” says Dallas Swamshaw, 24. “That means no.”
At first glance, it might be hard to understand why someone wouldn’t want to lend a hand to those who are less fortunate, especially in light of Thanksgiving, a season where Americans everywhere don festive sweaters and LIVESTRONG bracelets, and do their best to look more thankful than their neighbors. According to Swamshaw, the answer is simple:
“You ever read in the Bible where it says, ‘Give a man some fish, and he’ll eat, but teach a man to fish so he won’t ask you about it anymore’? I think it’d be even more gratifying if they taught themselves. I already got a wife and two kids who yack at me for everything, I really don’t need homeless people doing the same thing.”
But can someone who does so little for his fellow man truly be thankful for the things he has?
“Of course I’m thankful,” Swamshaw says. “And I’m generous. Generous in the most painful way. I don’t want those bums with their signs to become over-descrepent on me. Over-dependent. Whatever.”
Many of Swamshaw’s family were up early Thanksgiving morning, preparing plates of food and then driving them around Austin, home to as many as 4,500 homeless.
“It’s tough love. One of these days, a bum is going to go out there and work for that quarter, because people like me wouldn’t just give it to him,” Swamshaw said through a mouthful of pumpkin pie. “And then he’ll go out and get a haircut, or take a bath. Knowing that I helped out with that… well that’s just fine.”