Should We Give Alms to Beggars?

@mari123 (1862)
China
July 4, 2007 10:57am CST
The question has kept running in my mind for a long time because I’m beginning to hesitate whether I should give alms to beggars in the future. I am a tenderhearted lady and always willing to offer my help to those who are really in trouble or less fortunate than I am. However, things are getting complicated and indistinguishable nowadays. Their dirty shabbily clothed figures still can be seen everywhere in cities, in our capital Beijing as well, despite of the facts that the living standard of Chinese people has enhanced tremendously in the past two decades. I have paid my attention on those modern beggars’ characteristic behavior whenever I encountered with them on overpasses, in underground passages, at railway station entrances, and especially around those places of foreigners’ mecca, such as San Litun Bar Street, embassy area, diplomatic compounds area etc. They are “professional” in some extent; they are no longer content to beg for food or changes. To my disgust, they even goad little kids to pester foreigners. It is said that most of the kids are not their own but borrowed or even kidnapped as properties when begging … The ugly dirty facts behind begging have been gradually revealed by reporters recently. Technically they are not beggars at all; they do not have to worry about making a living; some are professional begging all the year round; some are begging only in their leisure time – after harvest but before lunar New Year; some have raised enough money to build houses! But one thing is clear that they simply refuse to go to Charitable Houses established by governments at all levels. The revealed facts made me uncomfortable and I doubt whether our kindness and well-meaning are merely being used. Now I only contribute to the Red Cross Society or in response to the government’s call when necessary. What would you do when you meet a beggar in the street, my friends?
4 people like this
12 responses
@tantal25 (839)
• United States
4 Jul 07
yeah i am sure of it that we should give alms to beggars and be thankful that we have enough blessings to buy ourselves food unlike them, they have to ask for people first some money before they can eat a piece of bread. And we really should have mercy to beggars because it made us realize on how our status is. besides, a little amount of coins wouldn't harm us right? we should help other people who needed help.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
i believe in God's word: give a man a fish and he lives for a day. teach him to fish and he lives forever. its okey to give to beggars as long as its not going to be a habit of theirs to ask you like always! and not in cash either. beggars here in my country are so rampant, they even use babies as props in making money or to be pitied upon. most actually are under a group of syndicate making beggars as their "business". i would usually give out food and clothes to beggars and very seldom do i give out cash.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
I believe that it is very much rewarding to give...In the case of beggars, sometimes we need to be discerning as some beggars are used by syndicates. What I usually do is that I give not money but in kind, like foods and old clothes. In this way, I could be sure that the stuff i gave really benefitted them
5 Jul 07
Some beggars are just lazy to work and some of them especially children belong to a syndicate. So it really depends who begs. When I feel that the person really needs it then I give otherwise I won't.
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
That is a really sad thing, but some people are just evil enough to take advantage of other people's kindness. It's the same thing over here. There are actually syndicate groups that use street children. They force them to beg and then at the end of the day they ask for the money. It's the most awful thing. I don't really walk to places a lot; I always use the car. But there are tons of beggars who come up to the window and knock on it and thrust out their hands. It really really breaks my heart to see people suffer like that. But like you, I don't know for sure if they're really really poor or if it's just a scam. Also, my doubt stems from the fact that there are a lot of government and non-government organizations whose mission is to gather these street people and take care of them, teach them crafts so that they can earn a living for themselves someday. But what they said was some of these people even escape the shelter to go back to begging because it's instant money. That's really sad. For me, if you encounter a beggar, the best thing to give is food or clothes. If they're genuinely in need, they wouldn't complain. Now, I give to charitable organizations so that I'm sure that they really go to those in need and not just some selfish person's pocket.
• China
5 Jul 07
I didn't give alms to the beggars easily Nowaday it's hard to believe those beggars beacuse many of them are cheats.. Now I just believe the people of in trouble at TV. I think we'll give the help to the people who need really.
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
I don't give alms. Or rather, I don't give money. I give food instead. Giving money to beggars (especially children) is dangerous because there are gangs taht use children begging to earn money.
@kenny936 (17)
• Canada
5 Jul 07
If you give one beggar something then another beggar will want something too. Pretty soon all the beggars will be asking you and other poeple for something. Its better for beggars to learn to make money themselves so other beggars might be like "Hey its johny hes rich now, lets work hard to make money like him" etc
@pascard (20)
• United States
5 Jul 07
i guess what i would do is instead of giving some loose change, i would just give something that he can eat right then and there where we met. If i dont have food with me, just buy him/her/them something to eat. Its true you can hardly tell who are the real beggards but i am very much sure you can still determine with look in their eyes and if you are really sincere that you want to help.
@Buchi_bulla (8299)
• India
5 Jul 07
I was cheated once. A man said his wife in hospital and I gave money. Even after that many times I saw him there with the same type of begging. Then my friend told he is doing this since one year. So I see the begger, if deserving like handicapped, sick and all, I do put alms. Otherwise no way.
@cuddleme01 (2728)
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
it's okay to give to beggars. in fact it is a very commendable act. But then beggars should also do their part and try to find a decent job. We give, we help them but let us not tolerate beggars depending on us. Let us not tolerate them to just beg all their lives.
@morgandrake (2144)
• United States
4 Jul 07
I have watched the same exact people begging for money downtown for twenty years now. And I once worked with a guy who when he broke his leg had to beg for awhile--he told me that he was making more begging than he did working as a manager in fast food. Because of that, I have to be in just the right mood to give a begger anything.