I found this to be rather amusing because of the occupations that were open up to the four kittens. One of them was a ship's cat (or a sailor), one was a farm cat (or a farmer), and one of them was an alley cat (or a beggar). Actually, the first option that was laid out to the four kittens was that of a beggar. Okay, I understand that this book is a children's book and it is using cats as an analogy of us growing up and taking a profession, but I found the analogies, particularly that of an alley cat, quite amusing.
I am not really sure if there are that many kids out there who say to their parents 'Mommy, Daddy, when I grow up I want to become a beggar. I want to sit as the side of the road outside Melbourne Central Railway Station dressed in dirty clothes, with a hat for collecting small change, with mattered and unkept hair, and a sign that tells everybody who walks by how much of a sad and pathetic life I am living and only if you can given me some small change I could get something to eat and a place to sleep'.
It may sound that I am being a little mean and nasty towards beggars because, as you may suggest, that many of these people are there because life has taken a bad turn and has dumped them out onto the streets, or maybe they have not received the same blessings that we have, and I must admit that in many countries that is true, however this is Australia, and we have a lot more benefits here in Australia that many of those in other countries have. Pretty much most people who are not working are in receipt of some form of government benefit, and I know of a number of people who live on government benefits and subsidies that get along just fine. In fact I heard of one person who was on a disability pension saving enough money to go on an overseas holiday. Seriously, if some guy on the pension can go on an overseas holiday, then people on the pension have no need to wander around the streets of suburban Melbourne scabbing money of the rest of us.
Don't get me wrong, I do support organisations that are devoted to poverty relief, however in our society I feel that it is much more beneficial to support organisations that attempt to address the problem of homelessness and drug addiction, rather than giving directly to people begging on the streets. Many say that by giving money to beggars you are simply giving money to them so that they can buy cigarettes and alcohol. As such, because one does not really know where that money is going to end up, I find it better to put it into the hands of the organisations who are going to support these people (by providing food and shelter). Mind you, I remember a pastor once suggesting that if we are approached by a beggar asking for money then we should at least give them some, however this particular pastor lived in Adelaide and you don't get beggars in Adelaide. Go over the border to Melbourne and you will find them everywhere. In fact, you are likely to trip over at least two who sit themselves outside Melbourne Central Railway Station. On top of that you will probably be approached by at least one every two days. The thing is that this is Melbourne, in Australia – you see so many more when you go overseas (though none in Hong Kong).