More and more cities worldwide are moving to ban panhandling. It can be annoying, but put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. Who amongst us wants to be a panhandler? Who wants to put in the position where your next meal relies totally on the kindness of strangers? There are a number of great social agencies that help fill that gap for the homeless portion of our communities, but it will never be enough. If you want to eliminate panhandlers, we should, as a society, move to eliminate poverty. Panhandling is just a symptom, eliminating that hurts those in need even more without addressing the underlying reason. Why do people need to panhandle? If we viewed our less fortunate neighbours from their perspective and didn’t judge them harshly, more of us would help. I do help, sometimes, not all the time. I don’t always carry cash, but if I have a pocket full of coins and am considering buying yet another cup off coffee, I have been known to hand it over to buy a bowl of soup instead. It’s not easy. It’s not my job to ensure that money will go to food, it’s my responsibility, as a citizen, to help. A favourite uncle lived on the streets. I don’t know what happened to him, but every time I turn over a loonie I think of him.