An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The rhetorical question

Last week I posed a completely rhetorical hypothetical question about whether or not you would donate money to a starving family on the condition that you would have to give the same amount of money to someone who would use it to buy crack. Contrary to what some people have argued, this was not a question I was going to use to pin people into a corner, nor was it a way to preach my political views. In fact, it wasn’t even a metaphor for the bail out, I hadn’t even thought about that until someone suggested it in the comments. But I can completely see how you could view it as such.

I was genuinely interested in what I knew were going to be a wide variety of responses and the reasons behind those responses. I didn’t give my opinion at first because I didn’t want that in any way to affect your honest answers, but now that so many have weighed in with thoughtful reasons why they would or would not (and some not so thoughtful), I’ll go ahead: I absolutely would give the money. No questions. Not a second thought.

That does not mean that I think you are an evil monster if you disagree with me, and perhaps I should explain my reasons for asking it in the first place. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to know that it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with my older brother, Ranger.

I am the youngest of three children. My sister September is five years older than I am, my brother three. My sister and I were somewhat close growing up, but she was already in love with the man who would become her husband by the time I had reached an age where we had anything in common. I was much closer to my brother, and he was my hero. I thought he was the brightest and funniest person alive, and in high school I was proud whenever I got a teacher who had taught Ranger before me. They always gave me special treatment as Ranger’s little sister because he was charming, hard-working, and a total smart aleck. I remember sitting in my Freshman Biology class hearing Ranger and his physics teacher next door screaming jokes at each other to see who could out wit their opponent, and since my Biology teacher had taught Ranger three years before SHE TOTALLY KNEW what was going on. Several times she stopped class to laugh into her sleeve, and to my horror she would announce to everyone, “That’s Heather’s brother you hear. I love that guy.”

I loved that guy, too, and when he left for college the next year it broke my heart. I was the only child left in the house, and I didn’t have my brother there to tell me stories or to make me laugh. The first semester of my sophomore year was lonely, but when he returned home for Christmas vacation it was as if he had never left, perhaps even better than when he’d left because now he had all these stories about his roommates at BYU and the adventures they got themselves into to distract themselves from wanting to have sex. Even 18 years later when he mentions one of those roommates I can remember exactly who he’s referring to and whether or not he was the one who dressed up as Condom Man for Halloween.

But something happened during that Christmas vacation that changed a fundamental part of me, and I bet you he doesn’t even remember this. I’d forgotten about it until last week when my brother and I met for lunch, and sitting there across from him at that sushi restaurant and listening to his stories I remembered what a profound effect his influence has had on me.

It was Christmas 1990, and he and I went shopping at a local mall to find gifts for the family. It was bitterly cold outside made worse by a cutting wet breeze, winters in Memphis are like that, and as we pulled out of the parking lot at the mall we passed a man standing on the median of the road selling single stem roses for $2. He was wearily disheveled, not dressed at all for the weather, and looked like he hadn’t eaten in days. He could have been starving, but he also could have been a drug addict. I’ll never know.

We’d always been taught that you ignore these people, they’ll take your money and use it to buy booze, or they’re somehow scamming you. Better to keep your money and do something more productive with it. Except Ranger pulled right up to the man, handed him a twenty dollar bill and said, “I’d like a rose for my sister,” and he pointed toward the passenger seat. “I haven’t seen her in months.”

The man looked down at the bill as if he were holding a fragile newborn animal, and his hands started to shake.

“Aw man,” he said. “I ain’t got no change for this. You got something smaller?”

“No,” said Ranger, and then as he shifted the car into drive he continued, “Please keep it.”

The window was still down as the car pulled away, and I’ll never forget how he called after us, “YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, MAN! YOU’LL NEVER KNOW!”

As we pulled up to a stop light in silence Ranger finally spoke up. “I saw him when we first drove into the parking lot hours ago. No telling how long he’s been out there, and he doesn’t have change for a twenty? LET HIM HAVE MY TWENTY.”

I asked Ranger if he cared what that man did with the extra money and he said he hadn’t even thought about that. It was just evident that the man selling roses needed those extra eighteen dollars more than he did. It felt like the right thing to do.

Does this mean that I give money to every homeless person or beggar I encounter? No, but I have frequently, and am inclined to err on the side of charity because of my brother’s example. (And yes, this can be extended to all sorts of volunteer work and charity) And there have been many instances when I’ve ignored the homeless because of the very thought that they would use the money I gave them to do something stupid, and without fail I regret that impulse. And then I wonder why I had that impulse in the first place, and then struggle with myself when I experience that impulse again. Because I have to believe that even if only one of the hundreds of people uses that money to feed themselves or their dog or their hidden, desperate children, or even if they use it to have a more comfortable night than the one they had last night, then we will have done right in every instance by fighting that impulse.

  • lizzie

    Even if they are a drug addict with every intention of using the money to further self destruct–maybe, just maybe, your kindness will give them the little boost they needed to get help. Or, if it doesn’t do that maybe it will do something to lessen the hell they are in just a little bit. Point being–even if they money goes to ill use, the kindness won’t.

  • Laura

    What a great story! I was relieved! I thought it was going to turn out like one of those Lifetime movies where your brother was awesome then he makes a mistake and becomes a crack addict and you do everything in your power to help him become the brother he was by lending him money for rehab.

    Thank goodness that was not the story! Yours is much better and I will remember it if ever in the same situation. Good for him!

  • Back in my Mormon days I remember reading a quote from one of the prophets. He made the point that if you give help to someone what really matters is your intention, not what they do with what you’ve given them.

  • I feel the same way about giving to the homeless, because of a similar story. Except the source of my feeling about giving is from my mother, not my brother. Although, my brother is also one of my heroes!

  • Very moving story. I can feel the love and admiration you have for your brother rising up from the… screen.

    My mom played a similar role for me. Growing up and riding in the passenger seat while she drove, I remember my sense of apprehension every time I saw a person begging on the corner. As a child I just felt uncomfortable around them, about them. But I knew that if we stopped near enough to them, my mom would roll down the window and give them a dollar or some change. It wasn’t a lot of money, but that wasn’t the point.

    There was one woman in particular who looked especially pathetic, with scraggly hair, holey sweaters, and barely any flesh for her bones. We saw this woman so often that I remember her face better than some relatives of mine. My mom always gave this woman money, I think feeling extra sympathy because of her gender. (99% of the people we saw begging were men.) Then one day my mom was leaving our local grocery store and she spotted someone who looked familiar. It was the beggar woman, but now she was made up, her hair in a nice ‘do, with a black leather skirt and top, and a shiny black pickup truck. Livid — and I think feeling disappointed, betrayed — my mom swore she’d never give anyone money again.

    And true to her word, the next time we got caught at a red light where someone was begging, she looked straight ahead and kept the window up.

    The time after that, though, she rolled the window down and handed the man some change.

    Maybe we’re too naive, too trusting, too forgiving. But like you, and my mom, I’d rather err on the side of indiscriminate generosity than regret not helping someone who might have needed it. I’d rather not punish everyone for the dishonesty of some.

  • Beautiful life lesson from your brother. It’s their responsibility to choose what to do with the money and live with the results. It’s our responsibility to give when we see true need.

  • kimca

    I was just talking to a friend yesterday and said to her, “Once you give someone a gift it’s up to THEM what to do with it.”

    Also, NEVER judge a book by it’s cover. Some of my favourite (canadian spelling) books are worn and tattered.

    The out stretched hand can be overwhelming sometimes. I live in a big city and pass many palms on a daily basis. I think, for the most part, asking for money it’s not an easy thing to do. There are many reasons someone may be in need.

    I’m thinking- do what you can, when you can, if you can. Also, when walking by, if you can’t make the change, a smile instead of a snarl must be worth something to.

  • Dewshane

    Heather, that sweet story managed to summarize exactly how I feel about giving to the homeless. All I know is that when I look at someone in ragged clothes exposed to all sorts of weather – suffering, in a word, I don’t really care why or how they got there. I just want to make their lives a little easier for them. Even if they are alcoholics or drug addicts, can’t we be compassionate for someone with a problem SO BAD it made them homeless? Not too many people aspire to live like that, and I’d bet most of them would strive for better if only they knew where to start. Or if they had been afforded the privileges those of us in the middle class take for granted…a loving, supportive family, a chance for an education, and the security of knowing where all of your meals in the foreseeable future are coming from. We teach our children to see through these people instead. Can you imagine how amazing the world would be if we all stopped to care every now and then?

  • i’m totally paraphrasing here, but didn’t jesus once say that if someone asks for help you should help them? period. and didn’t he ask people not to judge each other? cast the first stone and all that.

    i don’t claim a church or a religion, but dang it i try to be a good person. and i think jesus had a lot of good stuff to say about how to do that.

    so yeah. i agree with you wholeheartedly, heather. your brother was such a great example that day.


  • Cindy in SLC

    I have a tear in my eye after reading that story. Thanks for sharing, Heather. I often give homeless people money, and what they do with it is their business. One gal walked straight to the liquor store. I kind of envied her a bit, because of the freedom that she had to do that. I, on the other hand, had to go back to work. Would love to have joined her for a beer! Your blog is the bomb.

  • When I pass a person who is hoping for someone to give them one of their spare dollars, if their sign has the word “hungry” anywhere on it, I walk or drive to the nearest store, purchase food for them, and hand it to them, without a word. It blows my mind that so many people just walk by them without even a glance.

  • Rebbeca

    First time commenter. I loved this story! Thanks!

  • Desert Diva


  • Liz


  • Katie

    This is one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking stories I’ve ever read on your site. Not only do I love the giving spirit of your brother (and wished we would all act that way, at least once in a while), but you did a fantastic job of making the homeless man human, too. So often we don’t view them as human beings, and that is what makes me really want to cry. Down and out or rich and successful, we are all HUMAN.

  • kimca

    And add on to #57.

    I forgot to say, great story Heather!!! Once again you’ve told a beautiful, thought provoking, well told tale.

    Rock on sistah!

  • erica

    reminds me of a story….i use to work for Verizon phone co in NY and had about 250 employees in the building. People were leaving for the day as there shift ended, me included. There were a few people in front of me exiting the parking lot. I recognized a woman from work on the side of the road lying on the grass just around the corner from the office, her car all smacked up from an accident. Then i noticed that the employees in front of me slowed down to see the comotion, then kept going. No one stopped & got out of there car to help there fellow employee. I did, i stopped and went right over to Diane, said are you ok, what can i do…then i called her husband from her cell. At first i thought…well maybe the other people who were driving and slowed down to see what happened didnt realize it was a co-worker….until the very next day at work. Those same people came up to me to ask me how Diane was. Those employees who i thought maybe didnt know it was a co-worker, knew it was Diane. It made me sick to my stomach for a moment. Then i realized that im just a better person for it. Nice story Heather.

  • Rio

    Thank you Heather.

  • caitlin

    This is a difficult topic for me. I used to be one of the people to always give a few bucks to a homeless person, or some food or whatever. I believe homelessness is not a choice, or a consequence of “laziness”. I think it is our societal responsibility to help those less fortunate.
    Then I moved to an area in Seattle (Capitol Hill), where there were people begging literally every 10 feet. I learned through friends and those who grew up in the area that it was a popular thing for high school kids from rich neighborhoods to ditch school to beg for the day, “for fun.” I know people who have done it. I had other aquaintances who told me they learned that they could make more money begging ($10-15 an hour) than by having an actual job, so they did that because it was easier and they could get high while “working.” At this time I was just starting out in life, barely able to make rent, and I was horrified and saddened to learn that a percentage of the money I was giving to people who I thought had it worse than me was going to lazy cheats. I hate that these few people made me doubt a person asking for money, which for most is an extremely difficult thing, but now it is a thought I can’t forget. I know that there are those out there with genuine need, but the fact that some people are taking our money, not for drugs, but for a laugh, makes me very sad. I now try to contribute to society through volunteer work, but I still feel conflicted when I pass a homeless person.

  • I was raised in SoCal where you’re taught to look the other way. If you make eye contact they’ll just ask you for money that they’ll then use to buy booze or drugs. I was taught that if you felt compelled to give them something than give them food not money. As far as I know there are no liquor stores where you can use a bunch of bananas to buy a fifth of cheap vodka.

  • J.

    Totally moving and I totally agree. What they do with the money really doesn’t matter, it’s what YOU do that counts.

  • Caesy

    Thanks for this post today. I really, really hope that this politically, economically and socially uncertain time will help us all to be more compassionate human beings. I originally thought you were writing about the buyout also, and, while it was a thoughtful metaphor, I’m glad it was about this story instead.

  • I enjoyed this. I once dropped a twenty into the hat of a homeless man in Chicockgo who was always on this one corner with his dog. That poor dog. He took better care of the dog than he did himself and it broke my heart.
    Your brother sounds like a good man.

  • Abbie

    I love you, Dooce. You are an amazing person!

    I have such a hard time, though, with this concept, because my family took in three newborn babies at various times whose mother was on welfare (they were all from the same mother) and used her welfare payments to get drugs that ruined these children’s lives. I held them as they shook because they were having withdrawals from crack at just a few days old, and that image is forever burned in my mind… They were all adopted by my aunt, and they have such problems from the drugs and alcohol their mother took while she was pregnant. They will never be normal because of their mother.

    I *want* to give these people money, but I just don’t want to feed their addictions or help them to hurt their children. I’m still the person who has no idea what to do when she sees a homeless person. 🙁

  • Meredith

    If someone can stand on a street corner and sell roses, then they can surely take steps toward getting a legitimate job. I live in downtown Atlanta, and I assure you that the homeless have way more opportunities than you can imagine to get them back on their feet. The folks who want to get help do–the others continue to beg on street corners in front of my house for $0.37 to “buy a bag of potato chips”. I NEVER give to beggeers.

    I donate to charities that feed the homeles. I donate new and used clothing and home goods. I donate school supplies and backpacks at the beggining of the school year for under-priveledged children. This is the only way I can be certain that the right people get the help they need. Giving a crackhead change for God knows what isn’t helping anybody. You may, in fact, be harming them.

    Just food for thought.

  • b.

    thanks for this, for so many reasons. and to remind me how great it is to have an older brother… mine’s pretty awesome too.

  • Anny

    A few months ago I was at a grocery store with my brother in law(incedentally I was buying him some groceries because he can’t hold down a job and he had helped us with some lawn work)when a man approached me with a woman and 2 kids behind him. He said that he was trying to buy some diapers and formula but he didn’t have enough money(he had lost his job). They had run out of formula,given the baby regular milk and now the baby’s stomach was all messed up. I happened to have 20 bucks on me (which is unusual that I have for than a few dollars in cash) so I gave it to him. He thanked me and I went on my way. My brother in law said he wouldn’t have given him anything and it was probably a scam. Well, maybe so, but two things- one, I would have felt terrible if I had said no when I had the money and probably worried about that family for weeks. And two, if it was a scam, it was a fabulous scam! If he is smart and bold enough to approach people like that and seem sincere and embarassed as an act…he can call the money payment for a great performance! All I know is that I was completely at peace with my decision that day.

  • Stephanie C

    Like everyone else, I loved this story and wish I had a Ranger in my life (like Chris, I’m a Lonely Only). My immediate reaction to your hypothetical was to say of course, yes, absolutely I would give the money to both the starving family and the crack addict. The only thing that gave me pause was this:

    A few years ago, my mom had a tire blow on the highway. She pulled over and (not having the proper equipment to change the tire herself), called Triple A. While she was waiting, a guy in an old van pulled up and asked if she needed help. He had the tool she needed in his van and offered to change the tire. When she said it wasn’t necessary, that she had just called Triple A and he probably had more important places to be, he insisted. She tried to give him twenty dollars for his kindness and the time he took, and he refused. He said, “I used to be a drug addict and recently got clean. If you give me that twenty dollars I’ll be too tempted to think about what I could do with it.” She gave him three dollars instead and told him to buy himself a cup of coffee, which he accepted.

    I guess when someone tells you they need the money you should trust them and let them do what they want with it, but after that story I’m always worried that a person is trying to get clean but my money will encourage them back into their own dangerous patterns.

    But thanks for the story.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for that.

  • One of the things I really miss from my youthful innocence was the ability to look down my nose at people. It was really helpful in insulating myself from the poor, the weak, the downtrodden, etc. It allowed me to pretend that their problems could never happen to me, because I was smarter, better, more hard working, more responsible.

    Then I grew up a little. Life knocked me around. Still is, actually. I discovered that those people are just like you and I, save some circumstances. That was when I truly started to understand the phrase “there but for the grace of God go I”.

    You know what else? I was always as hard on myself as I was on the people I was judging. By giving them a break, I gave myself a break. The right to make mistakes, to make poor decisions, and still feel like a rightful member of the human race. If I give someone $5, and they spend it on Mad Dog, and the escaped their misery for a few hours, then good for them. They deserved a break from despair. Just like I do.

  • Alexandra

    Words really are not adequate for this. I know I don’t know you, but how about a virtual squish?

  • janet

    Amen. I can live with the risk that the homeless person will use the money for liquor, and thereby take advantage of me. I cannot live with the risk that s/he needed the money for food, and I passed up the opportunity to help. I give every single time, no questions asked.

  • Amy

    Heather, thanks for sharing that. I posted on my website about your question, and how it made me think. I will share with my readers (all 8 of them) this post also. Your initial question struck me as possibly an analogy for something, though I took it at face value because of my own past experiences. It is always hard for me to face issues such as those, because I lost my little brother to a drug overdose, but I think it’s good for me to push myself to face those kinds of issues and questions sometimes. One small step in the healing process.

  • Britt

    I was so so worried that Ranger was going to become a crack addict by the end of the story and you had to help his family that I had to go back and reread to fully appreciate it.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Is it wrong that I want to slap the face of every single person who commented with “the people who don’t realize that her question is actually about the bailout are STUPID”?

    Probably, but I have to believe that even if only one of the hundreds of those assholes that I’d love to slap use that sting as an opportunity to not be such dickheads next time you ask a rhetorical question, than I will have done right by possibly ridding the readers of this blog from having to hear their holier than thou attitudes.

  • Laura

    That’s a great story, thanks for sharing. I respectfully disagree, but I understand your reasoning and part of me wishes I had the same optimism. My problem is that – yes – one out of 10 might take that money and put it to good use. But if that means there are nine others who put it to ill use – feeding their addiction, crime, etc – that becomes a burden on society. And I’ve created that burden.

    I don’t know what the answer is for the homeless and hungry problem in our country. I know it’s not “Get a job!” But I don’t think it’s throwing money at them either. That said, I always give them food when I have it to spare, and always respect.

  • Lola

    Thanks for this story…it’s truly wonderful.

  • Dooooooooooooooooooce. You got tears. That story makes me yearn for the relationship I could have had with my brother if only I’d recognized when I was a kid what an awesome person he was. Instead, I treated him like shit, and now he’s grown and probably not really interested in hearing me apologize. Sigh. I might try to though, anyway.

  • luckiest girl in the world

    seriously, thanks for that. it’s a daily battle and every moment i can be more compassionate is one when i like myself a little better.

  • Kathy

    Thank you for the “rest of the story”. I read your question last week and did not respond to it, but will say here that I would give money to the family and the crack head. This has nothing to do with my politics or anyone else’s but more about how I felt at that moment and hoping when you help someone that maybe yours was the handout they used to buy the food or warm clothes for themselves or their children. That maybe an earlier handout paid for the beer or crack for that day and yours was the bonus that provided a life sustaining need.

    I flew to Houston this last weekend to visit with my husband and adult sons who still live in Texas. On Monday of this week my husband and I drove to downtown Houston to see the devastation from hurricane Ike and was surprised how quickly windows have been replaced, debris removed or piled waiting to be removed. While walking around we were approached by a homeless gentleman. He proceeded to explain he had been stranded in Houston and was sleeping in the parks and was in need of medical care. Immediately my husband reaches into his pocket but before he pulls out the loose change or dollar bill the man says “no, no please wait until I finish”. He proceeded to remove his left shoe to show us his toes and why he needed some ointment from the pharmacy to help what appeared to be a severe fungal infection, frostbite (from where I do not know since it was not freezing in Houston) or necrotic tissue from God knows what – his toes were black and swollen. I suggested he head for the Texas Medical Center to the emergency room for medical attention, gave him directions, and my husband dug deeper and handed him all the change and dollar bills that were in his pocket. He thanked us profusely and walked off. We later saw him riding on the handlebars of a bicycle and sort of headed in the direction of the medical center. I turned to my husband and wondered out loud if we were not the biggest suckers in the world and probably what we saw were really dirty, muddy toes. Did we feel fooish? A little. Would we do it again, yes, because at that moment we were able to help with a few extra bucks and just maybe he headed to a pharmacy and not the local liquor store or street corner drug dealer.

  • Vicki

    Heather thanks. I’ve been struggling with this for years…. sometimes giving and sometimes not. But this example will stay with me and from now on I’ll choose to give something.

  • Thanks for this. Wish I could tell you how it helps me process all the craziness…a resounding “YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, MAN. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW!” Totally inspiring.

  • Jessica

    This story made me cry b/c im a huge sap like that. When i lived in florida I always had bottles of water in my car and whenever i would see someone on the side of the road begging or hitchhiking, i would give them a bottle of water. i once gave 2 bottles to a homeless man with a dog on a scrap of a leash at a corner. He started crying and telling the dog they would be ok….

  • I agree totally, and I always get scolded by my co-workers when I give money to people on the street. I look at it this way: God has blessed me with money, shelter, food, etc., so it’s not really “my” money to begin with. If someone asks me for a dollar or whatever, I’m okay with just giving it to them without worrying what they’re going to use it for. I am not called to oversee how people spend their money. I am called to be generous…so I am!

  • I loved your question the other day, Heather; and I loved reading the responses. I said I’d give the money to both, no question.

    The one thing my step-mother did which made a good impression on me as a kid, was in regards to this. We were somewhere in LA and a homeless guy had a sign and she gave him 15 bucks or something. A guy in a suit started yelling at her, telling her what a bad person she was for helping this scum, who was going to buy booze with it or whatever. How in the world could you teach your children to be so careless, he said. She said, yes, he could, but he could also buy food. And booze, on a cold night can keep him warm. Then she said, every person is deserving of help when they need it and it’s not for me to judge.

    These words have stuck with me, my entire life. I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old when that happened. It’s on of the things I remember when I want to disown the dam woman. I always remember that line, it’s not for me to judge, when I hand money to a homeless person.

  • I’m in tears reading this. My son is 3, and he’ll often ask me questions about the people holding signs on the sides of the road. Sometimes, I stare straight forward and pretend they’re not there – we all do it. Sometimes, though, I see that desparation in their eyes (and I’m glad it’s not in mine), and I roll down the window and hand them whatever cash I have.

    The other day, there was this gentleman hobbling in traffic. Our eyes met when he was in the lane next to mine. I waved him over and gave him a $20 – all I had. He actually began to cry, and so did I. As we drove away, my son asked if he was sad. I told him no, he was probably happier than he had been in a long time and that I was sad that he was out there. Then my son asked if the man would go into the grocery store we had just left to buy food. I told him that maybe he would or maybe he would take it home and give it to his family so they could have food. For the rest of the afternoon, we talked about this brief exchange, and I have a glimmer of hope that my son will have a full heart in this cynical world.

  • LP

    Wonderful story, Dooce. I think too many people get hung up on what might happen to the money that they give and fail to realize that part of the beauty of giving is what it does for the giver. Of course it’s important to meet needs where you are able to do so by the act of giving, but also in giving we are reminded that it really isn’t about us. And I need that reminder more frequently than I’d like to admit.

  • Have you read the book Anatomy of Peace? I just read it in the last year, and the whole premise is based on honoring your impulses. If you have the impulse to give some scruffy guy a $20 and you honor it, you’ll be at peace. Sometimes you just don’t need to have a reason other than “I wanted to.”

  • Katie B.

    I have never left a comment, but I am a loyal reader. I am quite a bit more conservative than you are but I respect you opinions a great deal, whether we agree or not. Even more so more on the issues we do not agree on because you always make me think of a different approach from the one I would normally take. I thoroughly enjoyed the question you posed and I admit, at first I thought it was a political question but I was hoping that was not the end of it. I am so thankful that you came back to it. I live about 5 miles outside of Washington DC and see homeless people on almost a daily basis. I am ashamed to admit that sometimes I question what they will use the money for…but other times I don’t question it at all and give freely. I don’t know what makes me question some but not all…I guess, it is just nice knowing that someone else thinks about these things too. Political views aside, I just want to do the right thing and make someone else’s life a little easier.
    PS. I really enjoy your blog, thank you!

  • DJ

    I agree with you 100%. I have this argument with a friend all the time. I always say it’s better to err on the side of charity. If this person is scamming you, then that’s on their conscience, not yours. Trying to help someone is never wrong.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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