Friday, 21 September 2012

Greed to Help Others


Give money to charity? What? Me?

Do I look like some sort of mug to you? Do I have 'muppet' or 'cash machine' tattooed on my forehead?

That guy sat on the street is probably only going to spend it on booze or junk anyway. And I don't work hard to subsidise someone else's habit. It's bad enough that the government does this already.

And what about Africa? Pull the other leg, it's got bells on! How do I know that the money gets beyond the pockets of the person I give it to, much less Africa. Probably a penny of every pound reaches there.

And anyway, don't those people need to learn to stand on their own two feet? So long as there's people to give them a handout they're never going to get off their backsides and take care of their business. It just might stop them having so many kids.


OR...

Your excuses are just a front for sheer greed. Look how much you've got? Food in the cupboard, a change of clothes and a roof over your head. Do you ever stop to think that the things you take for granted are luxuries to the majority of the world's population?

The reason why your country may be rich is because, historically, it has exploited other countries and robbed them of their natural resources. So why not give a little back?

What's a euro, pound or dollar to you? A couple of packets of biscuits, not even a can of beer. A sixth of a cinema ticket. But to someone else, that can be immunisation for their child against a deadly disease or goes towards a water pump to provide fresh clean water. Still clutching that dollar for dear life? 

How about that guy in rags you pass on your way to the station or supermarket? The one that stinks to high heaven. Alright he may be a faker, but what if he wasn't? What does your conscience tell you? Does it really say it's OK to pass him by, knowing you have some money to give, on the off-chance that he's not genuine?


Why can't we have a greed to help others?

These two voices exist inside my head. Please help me to decide which one to listen to, or better still, what do you do on a daily basis?

Have you ever been in an hour of need? Did people step up to help you or turn their backs?
Conversely, did you step up to help someone who then turned out to be a taker and faker?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this post. 

39 comments:

  1. All right, this is a topic where I have some strong beliefs.
    I totally think we should help others. Of course, you don't know whether all of your money is going to reach there. But even if it is just a percentage of it, it might help a lot. Actually, I donate to a little child in Africa and I absolutely believe it's the right thing to do. As it is just a little kid, it is not his fault that he doesn't have a family that can take care for him and he can't stand on his own feet yet. I think I have the possibility to help him getting on his own feet some day, supporting him in a proper education, for example.
    I really don't understand why some rich people don't donate some money, because for them it would really be nothing and for these little kids it is so much more worth than for us. I really don't say they should give away all of their money, but a few dollars a month would make no difference for them, but it might make a big difference for a little child.

    Anyway, i can't afford to donate more than I already do and I decided to help this little kid in Africa with my money and although I could actually really need the money for myself, I never regretted my decision.

    But I really understand your feelings about beggars in the street. I often feel remorse because I never give them money, because of all the things you hear about how they use it. I think you wouldn't do some of them a favour by giving them money.

    However, I see nothing bad in donating to a charity.

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    1. Thanks Kleopatra. I admire the fact that you donate some of your money to help a little child in Africa without regret. At least you are doing it with the right intentions regardless to what may happen with the money you send to the charity.

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  2. I have charities I donate my time and money to. I give to homeless youth on the street. And yeah, not older drunks, because of where the money goes. Funny enough my partner who is a recovering alcoholic gives to the drunks. I remember one day in a bank vestibule two kids in there. One asked for money for food. I gave him 20, afterwards I felt bad. I should have turned around and took more out. It was really freaking cold out and the kids could have used at least a blanket. It was not really greed, more like not thinking. I gave what I could spare, but I felt bad afterwards. Street kids make me sad.

    Sadly one of the charities I volunteered in is closing, it is the only one that focuses on homeless and at risk youth.

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    1. It's nice to know that you don't just give your money to help others but you also take the time to do voluntary work. I believe volunteering is a good way to help others if you can spare the time. I've done a lot of this type of work in the past.

      Sadly, Jamie, many of the places that actually really help those that need it, are lacking in funds and are closing down. Sad state of affairs. Thanks for you comment.

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  3. Excellent post! You brought up some wonderful thought-provoking points here.

    Several years ago, I posted about this same topic on my own blog.

    I live a city; therefore experience people on the street asking for money on a daily basis. I know this may sound harsh and cold, but after a while you become street smart, knowing who is sincerely in need of money for food, and who is just asking for money because they’re panhandling for drugs, alcohol, or are simply looking for a handout because they feel entitled to getting things for FREE - you develop a ‘sixth sense.’ Therefore, I follow that sixth sense and will only give when my intuition tells me to. There is one gentleman who I pass on the street quite often and will sometimes buy him food or something to drink, but I don’t just give him money because I know he’s alcoholic and will only use that money to buy booze. Yet, I can tell he’s a very sweet and gentle soul, so he’s someone I feel drawn to help in my own way.

    And as far as helping others in need, such as friends or someone I know at work who needs money to pay bills or eat, yes, I will give to them because when I’ve gone through down and out times in my life, people have reached out to help me. I will also give to a few charities that touch my heart, such as firefighters or agencies that help those who are HIV positive, because I feel drawn to give to them.

    I follow my intuition and give to who and when my heart tells me to.

    I think it's wonderful to give to others. But to give consciously.

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    1. Ron, I think you do have a good point about developing a 6th sense because I too feel that some people are not as poor as they act out, and you have to be wise in what you do otherwise you are only participating in their downfall, in the long run.

      I like the idea of giving people food instead of money, at least you know they will eat for the night rather than use the money for drugs or alcohol.

      'to give consciously is the key. Thanks Ron for your input here.

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  4. Because my sons both have cystic fibrosis, I make a monthly donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses the majority of its donations to fund research for a cure. I generally do not give money to people on the street, for the reasons you've listed above: it's generally going toward alcohol, meth, or crack. However, I will offer to buy them a meal. Every now and then, i get a taker on that.

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    1. Helen, I've read your posts about both of your sons' condition, and I really do hope with research that a cure will be found. I'm glad that you are aware that the charity you donate to, uses the 'majority' of it's money to fund research because I question various charities as to how much of your £1 actually gets to help those in need or does it go to admin work instead.

      Thanks Helena and I hope the hospital managed to get you son's condition under control last week.

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  5. I remember a friend of mine pulled up to a panhandler, one of the people standing on the side of a highway on ramp with a sign. They handed them an extra burger they had from McDonalds. The person threw it back in the car and started to curse them for not giving money, actually saying the words, "What use do I have for food?" Yeah, that colored me for the rest of my life on bums and panhandlers.

    After that I ran into people walking downtown in cities, sometimes you'd pass them multiple times a day, always looking for money, and their story would flat out change, first it was, "I need money for the bus so I can get back home," then it was, "I need money to help pay my rent." All that, and they were in front of the same bar the whole time....

    One guy once approached me and straight up asked me for money for a beer, if I'd have had money, which I never carry out in public, I'd have given him some for his honesty.

    Charity companies are another thing, some do really good jobs, and luckily you can research them before you invest in their charitable work, but you might feel guilty giving them a small amount, because its actually kind of paltry to what you know needs much more money....

    The best thing to do, in my opinion, is never throw away clothes, when you out grow them, or whatever, just give them to a church or a place like GoodWill, who will use those clothes for the right reasons. That way its really no issues with money or anything else that could be construed, as you were just going to throw them away anyways.

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    1. Wow, that panhandler had issues mate. I see what you mean Dan, it's enough to put anyone off.

      Love the idea about not throwing things away but rather just give them to charities, etc so they can be used in the right way. Not everyone has money to spare but I'm sure we all grow out of clothes, replace various furnisher items around the house etc. Thanks for you comments Dan.

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  6. I will never understand why they call it "charity".

    In English it is a bit more difficult to follow the meaning since it come from Norman French. In other Romance languages where it represents something as very much estimated, or dear, coming all the way from Latin "caritas", meaning affection; is easier.

    It was the word used in the Vulgate to translate greek "agape", instead of "love" which is the right translation, I cannot find any connection except the prudish sense of separate that 'sacred love' from sexual love.

    So we meant sacred love to those nice actions towards our fellows beings. But what is sacred love, does it comprise our endorsement to the use of our help in their bad habits, giving supremacy to the being over the actions? or it means we should stop helping them in the (vain) hope they will leave their habits, or worse yet, feeling good at our heart because we didn't promote their very habits.

    It is not simple, not even if children are involved since adults are known to use them for their own benefits.

    I do not know the feelings of a city-sliker (no offence intended) who is daily suffering the assail of underprivileged people. Maybe the problem is that they (the underprivileged) do not wake up "love" in the possible donor. I do not know. I do know that the mistake these people commit, as alcoholism, drugs, et al, are not excuses, from my viewpoint, for just jump over them as on a sleeping dog.

    The snag is that even if one want not to jump; the possible solutions are so complicated in our society that it is easier discharge some coins on a hand than try to help where maybe there is not volition to be helped.

    Besides the attitude of the helped-to-be can offend the charitable hand, another point to take care of, a rejection of our charity is not an offence to our being, on the contrary, we should think that our understanding of the needs of that person was wrong.

    We need to evolution much more yet to find a way our help is valid. Meanwhile, coins, or societies are our solutions. Heaven help us!!

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    1. Ah Untony, you raised a good point here. I really take issue when those adults use children like porns, and drag them out on the streets begging for money. It really makes me sick. I believe that the 'Children's Social Services' should take action and get involved.

      I appreciate your comments as always Untony, at times we do need better solutions knowing how to not only help, but to alleviate some of these issues.

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  7. I remember one night a few years ago, I walking home in the rain from a local 711 when a gray haired guy in his 50's or 60's approached me. I thought he was gonna ask me for money. Instead he asked for a "cig" then asked if I could let him sleep on my sofa. He was waiting to apply for a job at some job placement office nearby, he said. I don't know if it was because he reminded me of one of my old acting teachers or what but I said yes. I made him dinner. We chatted about this and that. He ended up sleeping on my sofa for two days. I guess it was a bit naive of me to welcome a complete stranger into my home who could have been a thief or a serial killer for all I knew.

    After the second day, he thanked me and went on his way. I never saw the man again. He could have been scamming me but for whatever reason, I felt it was the right thing to do and I never actually felt frightened. I haven't done anything like that before or since.

    Sometimes you should just trust your gut and if it feels right to help someone when they are down on their luck, why not?

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    1. Now that's different. I don't think I'm brave enough to allow a total stranger who approached me, to sleep in my house for 1 hour, let alone 2 days. But, you went by your gut instincts and you were safe, and all went well.

      Maybe one day, he will be back to tell you his story. Thank you Kevin, my jaw is still on the floor :)

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  8. I've never donated to a charity and only on a few occasions have I given money to a beggar. Most of my youth I was pretty broke myself, but when I had I was always willing to share with a friend. Once I married and had a child and a job of sorts, I'd often pay for my daughter's poorer friends to attend various camps with her, take gymnastic classes, as well as bring them along on family vacations. I've also donated my services for free as a gymnastics coach on several occasions, twice for as long as two years. I suppose I'm someone who likes to keep his charity close to home.

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    1. NothingProfound. I really liked what you did as charity, because I remember how I use to get jealous as a young person when my friends use to go on holidays or go to classes that I wasn't able to attend due to lack of funds. So to have someone who was able and willing to give a child this experience is close to my heart. You didn't just help a child but you also helped their parents out. Nice one NP.

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  9. I'm with you Rum Punch--I battle both of those voices in my head. I have a soft heart and will usually donate to whatever cause there is...but i have also been "taken", which has jaded me over time. I think you have to go by your gut instinct on this one. We have a large homeless population in the city where i live---the saddest part to me are the veterans who fought of our country and are now out on the street after defending us in war. Many re no mentally ill and have no where to go. But we also have drug abuse problems here....so you never know if they are going to use the money for food or just drugs and booze. I think it's a good idea to buy them a meal so that you can see where the money is actually going. I am especially soft when it does to the holidays--I have no problem donating money for toys fro children, or giving out turkeys for a holiday meal . Again, listen to your gut before making any donation.

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    1. Thanks Menopausal mama. I too eel very sad for the veterans. I was shocked to know just how many people have fought for their countries and come back home to nothing, absolutely nothing. It's shocking and appalling.

      It does seem that gut instincts play a big part when it comes to giving to charities or people, maybe because we have been scammed too many times, so we develop that sense for what is right or wrong.

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  10. I donate my time, a few dollars here and there and have never felt bad about giving to another. Many times we might make an excuse not to give to those in need but when we give to the stores for shopping and different things do we know where our money is going to? We don't because there are some in big business who are also into cocaine trafficking not to mention a few other illegal activities. I give and trust that it is for a good cause. Even if the homeless try to pull a quick one on you they are not fooling any but their own self. Either way they will pay for what they did wrong if they are using it for wrong. I choose to give and again i can say i have never felt bad about giving to those in need.

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    1. Thanks Cherry. Yes, there is a flip side. If we don't know for sure what exactly is being done with the money we hand over, then it could be used for a bad cause.

      Why does it only bother us when it's charity we are giving to? We don't look at the businesses which the banks that hold our money invest in ie: do they pollute the environment, destroy rain forests etc or back regimes that torture their citizens, but we stress about whether that £1 we give will be used on alcohol.

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  12. I love your concept on having greed for helping others. Outstanding! People seldom want to see what could possibly be them one day. So for them it's easy to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. I agree, if you have it to spare, give it. And you're right, many times we do have it. Helping people in need is a God given right, not a hassle. And for fretting over a dollar one may give to a homeless man, or the guys who drinks too much, I say, "IT'S ONLY DOLLAR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!"
    Great post.

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    1. Ok, ok, no need to shout! :) Seriously though, I hear what you are saying. One man watching a criminal go to his execution turned to another and said, 'there but for the grace of God go I'. We would do well on occasions to remember this.

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  13. very interesting post! I guess many of us face this almost every day there is so much awareness going on. on TV by the local radio, church magazines ....I used to donate a lot when one day found out that only a mear 10% actually went to the cause.

    I do believe in good intentions and helping others and I do that locally, there are many good organisations that do work from the heart !

    you know I'm a believer of this " Give a fish to a men and you fed him for one day, teach him how to fish and you fed him for the rest of his life"

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    1. Keeping it local is a good way to see where your money is going. I suppose the sticking point is that the area of greatest need may not always be within a persons local area. Sub-Saharan Africa for example or the far east when it is hit with a tsunami are areas of great need but distant from areas of wealth. Thanks Hotei for your comment.

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  14. I give a bit to charitable organizations after we've done some research on them. I do want to make sure the money is spent on the right things. There's plenty of fraud out there. Given that, though, it's a rare instance when I give someone a handout directly. There are frauds there, too. I still remember this one instance: I was working downtown. There was I guy who often sat outside the train station begging for money. One day I had to take a late train in. There were very few people around. But he was still there. A Cadillac rolls around the corner with his lady inside. He dug a huge stack of bills out of his pocket and handed them to her. I just shook my head. Sure, there are those in the streets who do have a real need. They're not all like him. But I'd rather give them breakfast than some money to buy drugs or alcohol. Still, should I be one to judge?

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  15. A very balance comment Janene. I admire the fact that although you are not naive, you are still committed to giving, to the extent that you are prepared to research who to give too.

    Should you be the one to judge? I think we'd all be pretty safe in our judgement of the 'cadillac tramp', after all, it is our own money. Thanks Janene.

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  16. Just like you, I can hear the same voice telling me to help them...and another voice whispering not to tolerate them. Guess it depends on the situation. Sometimes I have so much to give but I must admit there were times, I feel so empty. Definitely it feels so good to extend help to other people if and only if our hands are always full.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your views Ric. I too also feel good when I am able to give.

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  17. This same dilemma happened to me once that it moved me to post about it.

    In some cases, I really do give whatever I can - be it coins or biscuits which is most of the time biscuits. But if I do know that this person is abusing people who help them (like doing drugs or just playing bet games), then I don't extend any help.

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  18. There is a major difference between those who really need help and those riding on the dole simply because they can. Those who need help used to be dealt with primarily at the local level where thinking people could evaluate the facts and take action as needed. Today its all about paper-pushers and rules made by someone in another office far away. Not to mention government programs which have intense overhead expenses, funds which could be better used to the benefit of those in need.

    I have no problem with my tax dollars going towards our military, veterans, the elderly, the disabled and the single mom or dad trying to make ends meet working their butts off....I have a problem with all the layabouts who are more than able to work, but have their hands out for their free ride while doing NOTHING. If our country wants to give money away to those on welfare etc., at least make those who can work..WORK for it by putting them to work cleaning up the city or doing some of the menial jobs we pay our government hacks to do. Think of all the hack jobs we could eliminate and the money we'd save if we had those on government assistance doing those "non essential" jobs? Those that are willing to contribute to their survival and well being are worth helping. Those that refuse to advance themselves with their own efforts deserve a kick in the ass.

    We can all run into a a bad patch as we live our lives. The goal of helping someone is to actually help them so they can become self sufficient. If they are of such poor condition due to medical or emotional issues that they can't take care of themselves then we should be willing to lend a helping hand. There are those that are lazy and manipulative and provide no value except to sell their weakness or perceived weakness. The Poor Me model.

    The key for me is to be able to recognize the true need or lack of truth in their pitch. I want to support people that are working towards doing something much more than people wanting a hand out for being pathetic. I find that funding pathetic doesn't work with me.

    So, the answer is not so clear. It really depends on the situation and some would require a bit of helping foot and a kick in the ass. But I do know one thing, I would much rather buy someone a hot coffee, bowl of soup, sandwich, etc. then give anyone cash. And I do. :)

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    1. Ah, you do have a point Daily Dose of Musings BUT could it be that the same people that can't find work in the areas where they are qualified or experienced, don't actually want to do what you call 'menial' and 'non essential' jobs, as you put it?

      Could your views create a 'Unemployment Creation Scheme'? ie: You take 100 people that are unemployed and place then into menial non-essential unpaid jobs whilst claiming welfare. You then create a situation where you are pushing out the ones that are already doing those jobs to now become unemployed. Just a thought.

      Good idea though about buying hot drinks and food instead of giving cash, this would eliminate the possibility of your money going towards a bad cause. Thanks Daily Dose of Musings for your comments.

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  19. There will always be poor. Not everyone can fit at the top. Life grades on the curve. There are those who work hard, break themselves down physically and mentally and barely scrape by. There are also those that disabled, dream of being able to work again and be functional citizens and not spend their days worrying about where the money for groceries is coming from. It seems some people now a days have an elevated view of themselves for doing what every human must do - struggle to stay alive. In the face of what is now becoming more apparent to workers - the oppression of a ruling class using wealth and power - hopefully the idea that one human is better than another or deserves more or less will be replaced by a spirit of humanity for all of us. Our countries are not necessarily BROKE... just morally bankrupt.

    Just my two cents! Bwahahaha!

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    1. Yes, it's extremely disheartening for those who work long and hard hours and have 2 or 3 jobs but yet they never seem to make ends meet. They don't have much of a social life and going up the career ladder is like a slippery slope. I admire what they do for their family trying to keep a roof over their heads, as they refuse to claim some of the welfare benefits (which they are legally entitled to) that could help them.

      Thanks Daily Dose of Musing, you put in a well appreciated 2 cents. :)

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  20. Well my opinion is I think it's up to the person if they want to donate to charity. I've always loved to help others when I can. But my child support has been cut down to only 25 dollars a month for the last two years. It isn't enough to supply my daughter with her school needs and all the things she needs. So, it has been difficult supporting myself and my daughter with just one paycheck, and even though I am doing very well in life, it's not always easy for me. But I do what I can to help others. I always feel good after helping someone else in life.

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    1. It's always good to know that there are people like you willing to help others even though at times you find it difficult. It is a nice feeling to give. Thanks for your comments.

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  21. My father taught me a lesson when I was a kid. I wanted to give money to a beggar and my father said no. I cried, so to explain to me his decision, my father asked the man if he would be interested in working at his restaurant, as a dish washer. The beggar said yes, but never showed up to the restaurant for the job my father offered. So now instead of money, I give food to as many homeless people I possibly can. I always have something to eat in my bag - cause I am a pig - but I will give it to a homeless person if I encounter one. Also instead of throwing extra food out when I am having dinner out, I will get the extra food packed and give the food to any homeless I run into on my walk back home. They always appreciate it. And I find that the feeling of helping someone else is really rewarding and also helps you keep a good perspective of your own situation.

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    1. Loved the lesson your dad taught. What a great offer the beggar bypassed. There are so many people who want or need jobs but yet when offered, it is not taken up. Maybe there was good reason or maybe the beggar found it easier to earn money without doing a thing. That's another topic!
      I also liked your idea of having food with you to give out to any homeless people. At least you know they will get something to eat. Thanks OneBigMistake, andSome.

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