What do you do when you see a beggar?

As we stepped out of the A.C. third chair car coach, we sisters had little idea as to what awaited us outside the railway station. I stepped aside to attend mum’s call, while she got trapped in a dilemma on the other side of the road. When the call ended, I crossed the road and approached her to know the state of affairs. She pointed towards an old woman…

The woman seemed neither quite well off, but nor as distressed! Yet, there she stood, begging to us and crying copiously. When I asked, she told me that she had forgotten her bag inside the bus which she boarded earlier. The bag contained her purse too. Now, she had to reach her village in Sitapur. She told us the exact landmarks through which you could get there. I asked her if she remembered any contact numbers, she refused. 

This left me perplexed… She seemed genuine! I finally gave her a hundred rupees note and she left, blessing both of us. 

But now the feeling that engulfed me was worse than the dilemma that I had before. My head was flocked with various “what if’s”… 

Why did she approach us – two teen sisters – out of so many people out there? Did we seem gullible enough? Were we really stupid to believe her? What if she also belonged to some sort of racket? What if her excuse was not genuine?  

But…

What if she were genuine (bona fide)? Would she be able to reach her village sans our help? Would someone even stand and listen to her… Forget about helping! 

I turned to my sister. She had already deciphered my thoughts through my expressions.  “Stop thinking so much now. Once we were caught in the situation, ultimately we would have to repent either ways… Would you not repent if you wouldn’t have helped her?”

After a moment’s thought, I realized that she was right. How people act with you is their Karma. How you react is yours…

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73 thoughts on “What do you do when you see a beggar?

  1. There is probably no easy answer. It is true many take advantage of kindness. Society and system also to be faulted for not creating opportunity for all. I guess if one can help they should to the best they can. Otherwise, forget and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Helping and providing opportunities to them is good but at many times people have found it easy way of earning. Often have met people where are willing to help them to provide work and then they give you a good stare as if have talked something wrong.. lack of money and earning for your stomach at times understandable. But only one question often haunts me when for them begging is only option for survival then why do they have uncountable no. Of children..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s no way to tell if a beggar is sincere. My daughter encountered one last week. She truly didn’t have money on her (she doesn’t carry cash on her person) and when she told him that he proceeded to curse her out. We encountered quite a few beggars while on vacation in Washington, D.C. recently. One in our party said she’ll buy the person something to eat or drink, but she will never give money. I heard of keeping small bags filled with necessities like trial size toothpaste, soap, granola bars, etc. and hand that to them instead. I like that idea because there are many scammers who are making a living begging, or who are buying drugs with the money they get. Nevertheless, what you did came from a compassionate heart, and was a good deed, so don’t worry about it. You did a kind thing and there’s never anything wrong with that.

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    1. Yes you’re right. Unfortunately, I was struck in a situation where I could have only helped her with money. But when I come across any kids, etc. I prefer giving them something to eat rather than money. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s always a hard decision. There are times i give, times i don’t, time i wished i did… but never times i wish i didn’t. You can get conned into giving but i agree their karma, not yours!

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  5. when i was in Boston i gave some coins to an old woman standing outside a coffee shop. She looked through them, reached the coppers back to me and grumbled “I don’t want THEM and threw them on the ground.” Later on outside a supermarket a man was opening the door for everybody and asking for change. I gave him a handful of coins and apologized that, that was all i had. He said “That’s OK every little helps, thank you.” At same store i bought a scratch card and it was a $4 winning one-I turned back and gave him the card and told him to do what he wished-cash it in or get another 2-got a big smile and another thank you. Now I KNOW there are some “professional” beggars out there-unfortunately it is hard to tell the difference-and unfortunately sometimes the really needy ones are missed or passed by-we can only do so much anyways.

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  6. Hi! I believe that you did the right thing. Besides; it seems to me that you have to show some kindness and spent some of your time to help homeless people in your community, but people who are asking for money it’s completely different.
    Greetings from Spain!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We have lots of beggars here in South Africa. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if they are genuine but I take the same view that you did – I can only control what I choose to do not what someone else does. Well done on your actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We came with nothing, we’ll go with nothing, so in the middle if we part with some money (which truth be told we worked hard for but grateful to God we have the health to do so) to someone who may have wronged us, then still think of it as someone who needs it more then you. It takes some courage to convince yourself you are going to lie and cheat someone else, you have to live with that, I respect that even though it sounds bad, but they may be doing it to feed other mouths, who knows. But well done on showing compassion.
    My mantra, if I ever come across a beggar here in England, then I’ll take them for a nice lunch…you can’t beat a warm meal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand you so well potatosandwich, I don’t know if you live in Britain or not. Since they created this law, it is justice that clarified that if a person gives to the beggar, we are tolerating more beggars to happen. Though we would want to give, we cannot do so to protect ourselves from getting arrested. But since the law came into force, no one beggs in this country. Maybe there are some people taking a hints, but myself I haven’t seen anyone. It is not us the nation who won’t give, justice made it all up. I hope you understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get you well. But Britain and India are two distinct countries with different cultures. In our country, to enforce such a law would require a step to atleast give some work to those beggars, because it would be like when you can’t save someone from drowning, you can’t tell him to not shout because it seems unpleasant.
        You are right when you say that we practically encourage them for begging. Probably, one should put them to some work so that they earn a living. But, spirituality takes over practicality and we indulge into alms giving, only to forget it later on. My post was based on this concept. Likewise the title of the post is not a justification of the topic, but a question.
        I on my part, appreciate such a law. If in my country, it is enforced properly something productive can be extracted out of it.
        Thanks for reading and sharing your sincere comments ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you. It was good to come out with such question. I don’t know how to write this out, when in Britain, many an outside world thinks life is great. There people living at the poverty line in Britain. It is a country that one has to work hard to earn a living like in every other countries. Life is not going to get better even in the UK, it’s got to be seen to talk about it, “wait and see” is all one can do. “Whoever gets a chance to leave the UK, do so if they wish.” Might be people think that “pounds sterling” is the best currency that is why everyone thinks life inside is ok. You know what, LIFE IS NOT ABOUT MONEY, LIFE IS ABOUT HAPPINESS! It was nice debating!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for sharing the reality in such a modest way. Even I thought that William Blake’s poem London ~ the scenario that it portrayed was way back then. Still, I would say that first the government should eradicate poverty, so that no one has to beg out of choice. It was great debating with you on a rational tone. Thanks ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely love your blog! Stumbled across it and your post content is amazing, it’s meaningful and stands out. Loved this post, I like the end quote too 🤗 very powerful

    Like

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