Recently I was in a group discussion about giving money (or not giving money) to beggars. At the time for what ever reason I sat silent without the need to express my opinion. But I sat and was amazed at the negativity that has infested us as a whole. One opinion was if a man has a sign saying he's a vet and asking for help, she'll not help because he could get government help. Another said they did not want to give a guy a hand out, due to fear of it all being a scam. At first I sat there mad at the thought of not giving money when we can, and how a pastor told me once that give your money to them and do it unto God, then let it go, if you got scammed so what.
But then I began to think about the large group of beggars I pass by every Tuesday. Sometimes I give them money sometimes I do all I can to avoid eye contact. Frankly when I do give them money I don't care what they do with it, if they eat they eat if they use it to get high so be it. Handing then a five dollar bill does not mean I care. I have no desire to go hang with them, no desire to hear their stories or to help them get off the streets. I mean I wish they could get off the streets but I am not going to do anything to make that happen. Time and lots of effort would be what would make a difference in their life, and I just think if we are not going to give them that, we should at least give what we can without our judgement or OUR expectations.
So next time you refuse to give that guy a hand out, ask your self if you are then in fact willing to give him a hand up. Are you ready to get involved and help him make better choices, are you willing to be his support system, are you going to help him get to an AA meeting and help him commit to change. If you are not quite ready for that then at least give the man a five.