When Is It Okay to Beg?

handsoutI go to a store and before I can make it into the store from time to time I’m being asked for money. Not from the store employees or even the government (the government loves to ask for your money) but from a person begging for money. Technically before I enter the store I’m already charged a ‘help me’ tax.

Before you start to think, ‘Oh she’s one of those people who doesn’t help others!’ it’s just not THAT simple. The people that beg me for money aren’t what I consider less fortunate, well, except if you consider less fortunate having on the Jordan’s that came out a few months ago instead of pair of the Jordan’s that came out last week, these are pretty sharp beggars. So sharp it started to change the way I looked at helping someone in need because now I started to wonder a little harder what is NEED?

helpA need for many is A meal, A place to sleep, SOME clothes to stay warm, etc. For others a need may be the latest iPhone, hottest shoes, and the trendiest clothes, etc. Who am I to determine what need is valid and what need isn’t? Well when my money is involved I’m the judge AND jury and not for the reasons you think.

Some have turned begging into a business. They aren’t destitute nor down and out but instead have found a way to make a living asking other people for the money that they have earned. I’m not making assumptions I’m basing this on what I see every day.

For example, there is a local guy in my neighborhood that starts his day at the 7-Eleven, then to Dunkin Donuts, moves over to Giant and finishes the day at CVS or Rite Aid (he’s not really loyal when it comes to drug stores). He even has the balls to get mad if you don’t give him money when he asks. Dude you are NOT a line item in a my budget!

Not-For-YouOnce I comb my way through that dude its on to the youth that have learned hustling for their basketball, football or cheering team. They only ask for nominal donations to help with uniforms or other expenses associated with their club/sport and for the most part if I see them I give. BUT I’ve yet to be invited to game or even a practice. At this point I will attend the tryouts I just want to see where my money is going and how it might have helped someone reach a goal. Where is my money?

Giving can be exhausting but as citizens we have a duty to help those in need BUT we also have the right to decide whose needs we choose to meet. Whether you give or don’t give is completely up to you but I know one thing to be true. The feeling you get when you pay it forward can never be duplicated holding on to a pocket full of money.