Friday, March 06, 2009

Don't beg

I hate when people ask for money. I never know how to respond. It bothers me that people will walk around asking random people for money. It bothers me on many different levels. Where are their family and friends? If I needed money, I wouldn’t wander around asking strangers for money, I’d ask my family and friends.

But maybe they don’t have family and friends who have anything either…or maybe their family and friends don’t want to help.

Is there a reason their family and friends don’t want to help?? Maybe they know something about the person I don’t.

So, if I have something, shouldn’t I give it?

I don’t want to encourage a habit. Plus, again, it really bothers me that people walk around asking for money. Why aren’t they employed? Why can’t they seek out the services that will help them get the skills for a job?

In Turner Courts, seeing the adults (usually addicts) standing at the store asking for money encouraged the young children to do it as well. They’d stand at the store and ask anyone who walked in the store for 50 cents so they could buy a soda or some chips.

Don’t beg.

That’s what I’ve been taught.

But when you have nothing…or, in a child’s mind, when you feel you don’t have enough, is it ok to beg? Is begging more my issue than theirs?

So did the guy at Taco Bell really need $2 for a bus ticket or something else? Was it a bus ticket, drugs, or something much deeper that I didn’t take the time to find out about? What makes a person begin to ask random strangers for money? Was he from that community and all of a sudden decided he needed to go to Baylor so he went up the street to ask people for $2, hoping to gather enough money? Has he known he needed a visit to Baylor for a while?

Is it any of my business?

I didn’t give the money. I felt bad. He didn’t look like a drug user.

I’m afraid I may have made the wrong decision. Is there a right decision??

Who’s to say that his request isn’t a devastating result of our current economic situation??

How do we handle situations like that in a way that always maintains a level of dignity—for myself *and* for the other person??
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