ARCATA, CA—Yanking the girl into the grocery store to avoid further embarrassment, local mom Tara Cochran scolded her daughter Wednesday for pointing at a homeless man instead of ignoring his very existence. “Sophia, no. We do not acknowledge a homeless person’s humanity, it’s impolite,” said Cochran, quietly admonishing her daughter’s rudeness while avoiding eye contact with the man sitting on a dirty piece of cardboard begging for change. “You’re going to make him feel bad instead of making him feel invisible. We need to be respectful of these people by treating them as objects blocking the sidewalk. If they talk to you first, then it’s ok to shake your head and murmur “Sorry, can’t help,” but otherwise, leave them in destitute peace. Yes, even if you have some change, you shouldn’t go giving it to them because that’s wrong.” Cochran went on to explain to her daughter why it’s important to tell the Salvation Army bell-ringer that you just donated, even if you didn’t.
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