I’m embarrassed to say I am one of those people that never give anything to beggars. That’s what we 50 year olds call them, at least from my part of the world. This was a rule of mine because I used to line in NYC between 5th and 6th Avenues where there were lots of outstretched hands.
Two quick stories: 1. I broke my rule one night when a person asked for $.17 so he could buy a can of Campbell’s Soup. He was direct, had a purpose, and I believed him. 2. One night my pal and I ran into a dude we called “Mangia” at the Blarney Rock pub. We called him Mangia because he would echo this one Italian word up and down the corporate cannon in a most pitiful, pleading voice. The next time we saw Mangia, we were a little in our cups and ran up to him called him by our nickname, put on arm over his shoulder and gave him a beer. In a very Americanized voice, he said “Hey, thanks guys.”
I’m not proud of my “no change for anyone” coda so, starting today, I’m going to make up for lost time. Every time I am asked by a sober person seeking money, I promise to reach down into my pocket and dispense change. So long as there is some jingle in the pants, I will give it. It’s a start.
PS. I saw a woman give a homeless man her orange the other day, and it near brought me to tears. Peace!