Some Beggars Do Have A Choice

Most of the time, we write about the rich, the politicians and oppressors. There are some folks that have no excuse for being poor except for their self-defeating habits. It has been written many times that if we all started with one million or a billion, in less than five years some will become multi-billionaires while others will become poor. Many of us blame our status on government, oppressors and politicians but never on our excesses, foolishness or gambles.

Some lottery winners have been studied. It is not surprising that some returned to the level they were before they won. Even more distressing are those of them that became poorer, lost their familiesand friends as theysuccumbed to opportunistic diseases and depression. Wished they had never won the lottery. Their situation gives us another glimpse into human behavior. We are not all destined to poverty, we resign to or create situations others take advantage of.

Yoruba say you do not eat with ten fingers, i.e. spread and save whatever you’vegot, if blessed.

There is something about humans that makes us feel good when we give or help our fellow man. The act of giving is so precious; we must share, do it whenever we can, so that others can pass it on without expecting anything in return from the original giver. This is why many people love to give anonymously. Expecting those you give to be grateful is almost like asking for too much. Just give and move on hoping they do not come back and hurt you.

We have heard about professional panhandlers that even employ minors and women to beg only to collect their money at the end of the day and pay them a percentage. They study their cities and certain locations within that city. This is by no means an excuse to blame poverty on those really in need, there are too many of them in our Country. It does not negate the fact that some of them had a choice but would rather use their brain to squeeze money out of others.

A friend that was generous to people in his old neighborhood decided to lay low after he had retired. People were still expecting him to be as generous as when he was working. They got very hostile towards him because they figured he was stingy. One of the loafers was so mad, he complained that the retiree could not give him money to pay his children’s fees. If he had made use of the same opportunities retiree had, he would not be asking his junior for money.

We may be struck by the certainty, offolks that blew so many opportunities given to them in life, calculating the income of others. The wealthy ones saved and utilize the same opportunity the poor ones had and frugally utilize their money better. If loafers were so smart, those they want money fromwere stupid, one cannot but wonder how they become so poor. They expect the donor to be lavish and stupendous with his wealth; according to their priorities and wishes.

It is so unfortunate what poverty has reduced majority of our people to. Some of them spend more time thinking about how to defraud, loot or take advantage of others than they spend trying to make a living. You would expect that anyone that was generous would be appreciated. But their thinking is if you were good to them once, by their prayers you must not stop,unless you want to become theircursed enemy. They keep on coming turning you into ATM for cash.

Allah nabaka, money people do not work for are spent freely hoping that God will provide the next cashistics.When you go broke, the same people would laugh at you. More uncomfortable watching people spend your hard earned money frivolously, the way you would not dare. There is another saying for that. If that is the way he feels happy spending your money, be happy with him. If he wasted your money on drugs and booze, be happy for him as that was his wish?

It sounds like ancient history now when coins had value as it could buy you food and drinks. You knew coins had started losing value, when you dare not give it to a beggar. Those among them that were healthy enough would pelt you with your coins. The day of waiting for change after buying goods disappeared a long time ago. Some of our children cannot remember what coins look like just as some have never seen telephone with a long cord attached for easy movement.

So whenever we travel out, it is always a pleasure to see countries where coins still have value. You will find people hanging by the stores or on the streets collecting change given to customer by the store cashier. Some are very polite others just extend their hands or show written sign that claimed they were hungry, homeless,pregnant orwar veterans. The calls vary from – can you spare some change to …. give me some change so that I can get stoned or drunk tonight!

Some of them are just as bold abroad as our local beggars. A pregnant young white lady with a small child watched a black man got out of his old Jaguar to buy some take-out home on Friday. This lady approached him and said she and her kid have not eaten, and was like, she demanded some money from him. He gave her some money and walk back to his car without buying any food. He told his family he decided to sacrifice the cash he had on himforlo mein, to the lady.

The ones that never vary were those approaching you that they were just short of some change to pay their bus fare or if you could give more. There was a joke about an “alien” from “space” that approached someone; that he was on his way back home and all he needed was just one quarter more. Someone gave him four quarters and asked him to take three more people like him home. “Space” could be any place they did not like and wished they never came back.

Some beggars do have a choice between divine intervention and human kindness because both are not the same. Donors have been told that it is not them that give.If they didn’t, God would have directed some else. Some would even thumb their noses at their donors that they fooled or took advantage of her. If you ever wondered why some liberals turned archconservatives, look no further. Few folks take others generosity for granted.

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Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa