• SeattleInsider: Panhandling 101: Invisible sign creative or just lazy?

    By: Michael Fox


    SEATTLE, Wa. - When I drove by last month I couldn’t help but crack a smile.

    I was stopped at the red light at Spokane Street and First Avenue in downtown Seattle when our eyes met.

    It was a chance encounter that launched my day off to a fantastic start.

    I rolled down my window and yelled, “I like your sign!”

    He laughed and said, “What sign?”

    It reminded me of a conversation I had with another homeless man a couple of years ago when I was walking by and we struck up conversation.

    As he begged for spare change by the iconic Elephant Car Wash he would tell me, “It’s OK if you can’t give any money – or don’t want to give us money.

    But don’t act like we aren’t here. That’s the worst part. People sitting in their car 3 feet away and not even willing to acknowledge that we are here.”

    The takeaway for me is to always enjoy the chance encounters from those around you. It may help you get passed a stressful moment, you may learn something and if you’re not careful you may even crack a smile.

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