Tony Long writes a column for Wired called “The Luddite.” I recommend you read his November 9th column, “Oh, the (Lack of) Humanity.”
I know that living in NYC I have become inured to homelessness and need and quite often simply ignore those people who have nothing, who are dirty, who smell, who scare me with their need and their misery. So I ignore them, pretend they don’t exist and all the while, there is a yawning, gulping feeling in my stomach that tells me I am doing the wrong thing, making the wrong choice. It’s not about giving them money per se, but acknowledging them as human beings.
Anyway, it’s a good article.