It is that time of the year when people gave gifts and gathered with their loved ones; some to colleagues, friends, relatives and even to strangers. When I was young, I listened (really?) to many stories in conjunction to celebrating the spirit of Christmas. Some of the stories softened my heart, some brought tears to my eyes, some compelled me to give bountiful gifts, and some gave me ideas how to be cheap. Before I bore anyone about these stories, I’ll just provide my overall thought of them – the theme of giving.
My preamble is somewhat related to the previous musing posted by Princess about sharing one’s blessings to those who are in need. My musing, however, is just with additional tone of perspective and for a different kind of occassion.
“for if you give, you will get…” (taken advantage of)
“…anyone can spare money, I am two dollars short to afford train ticket to get home,” said a tall scrawny man. Just when a kind-hearted lady was about to give money, I interrupted and yelled, “you said the same thing last night and the other night… and last week!” Then the lady looked at me while she quickly put the money back in her purse. I called out the man for using the same M.O. (Modus Operandi) for weeks scheming people for money.
It is fortunate for anyone walking on the streets of New York City, particularly Manhattan, without having to experience being begged for any amount of food or money. Granted that most of us were probably taught to give alms to the poor, it is unfortunate to battle with one’s conscience when deciding whether this is applicable or not to potential schemers. Some people do not probably go through this thought process and are quick to give a quarter or two. However, one can’t help but wonder when the number of beggars are taken into consideration or upon hearing news about authorities shutting down organizations like the UHO for scheming the public under the false pretense of helping the homeless.1
There are plenty of other MO’s like a combat veteran awaiting treatments, single mother that is very ill and unable to wait for the next SSD check or even parents using their kids to perform in subways or stations for money.
“but he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands”
Indeed it is a moral obligation to help those in need. Likewise can be said about HOW the help should be provided; the last thing we want to hear is that we enabled bad habits and addictions and that our kindness has been taken advantage of. Let not our good intentions for reaching out go to waste especially this time of the year when some people will put an extra effort scheming for money.