What are your views on begging?

January 18, 2007 2:46pm CST
If I see someone selling 'The Big Issue' I always buy one, but when I see someone begging I am always unsure of what to do. I never know whether to give them money, buy them some food, or just walk on by. I'm not too keen on the idea of giving food, firstly because I worry that it might make the person feel patronised, and secondly I've heard one or two off-putting stories that have made me think twice about giving food. One of my friends saw someone begging outside of Mac Donalds so bought him a burger only to be told that he didn't eat junk food. Another person I know bought a sandwich for someone who she had seen begging only to have him throw the sandwich back at her whilst telling her he only wanted money. In contrast to this though, I was speaking to a Big Issue seller who told me that he had someone who took him a sandwich for his dinner every day, he was so grateful to this woman. I'm also unsure about giving money because I worry that I may be feeding a drug or alcohol habit. I do give money occasionally, but I judge it person by person, if the person has a bottle in close proximity then I avoid giving them money. But I still feel guilty as alcohol/drugs may be the persons only escape from their grim reality, but then it may also be holding them back. One of my friends refuses to give money to anybody who is begging as she believes that she can do more good by giving money to charities that help these people. But like any charity I always wonder how much money actually trickles through to where it is needed after wages and bills are paid. So what are your views on begging? Do you always give money or are you wary of what your money will be used on? Do you prefer to give to a charity that helps these people? Or do you struggle to decide what to do like I do?
3 people like this
9 responses
@kritipen (4085)
• United States
18 Jan 07
The society as a whole is responsible if there are more beggars. What else beggars can do. Unemployment is on the rise everywhere. If a physically fit man and a qualified man are not able to get a reasonable job, what can the physically weak do and more importantly woman and children. I give money for children and woman and food for the aged. For those who are physically fit i refuse to give anything.
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
You are very right in what you say, you have certainly given me something to think about. Thanks for your response.
• United States
7 Feb 07
They may be physically fit and mentally incapable. This makes it somewhat difficult, but that is your criteria. If someone with a change jar/can is actually doing something useful..entertaining with music or whatnot I will throw some change in the jar. But when it is a cold cold winter, it really makes you think about how you can be helpful. If you teach a man to fish, he fishes for life.
@NAB666 (99)
• Canada
18 Jan 07
i 1st analyze them sometimes they are in serious problem they need food so i help them and sometimes they are fraud so i ignore them,
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. I always find it difficult to decide whether someone is in genuine need of the money or is a 'fraud'.
@NAB666 (99)
• Canada
23 Jan 07
yeah it is also difficult to me but i see them if they are really very old so they really need help if they are young and no problem in their hands,feets, eyes etc so i ignore them
@SimplyJo (1694)
• India
27 Jan 07
hi i prefer not to encourage beggers. i do give to those who are handicapped as they can't work for a living in any case - the status they r in, they can't even work to get outta that. but those who are perfectly ok, i would rather have them earn their living than get into begging.
1 person likes this
27 Jan 07
Thank you for your honest reply. I can certainly see your point, we can't afford to give to everyone afterall.
@budsr03 (2355)
• Canada
21 Jan 07
I don't like seeing it because some of it is self inflicted. I hardly ever refuse giving spare change because I know what is like, I have been on the needy side. Take care Butterflygirl.
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
Another very honest response, thank you for your reply budsr03! You have a good day too.
• China
21 Jan 07
I don't think begging is the write way to living on,cuz if I and you,or somebody else give the money to them today,but what about tomorrow,however,I can't give money to them everyday.So I think the beggers should find the proper ways to live and everybody around them should give them chances,so they can never begging and we also know everybody have their dear potential and advantages.
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
Very wise words - "give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." Thank you for your response.
• United States
18 Jan 07
If I have money I give it. My opinion is that is my responsibility as a human being and a christian. What they do with the money is their problem, they will have to answer for it in the end. Free food is easy to come by, there are lot of shelters, salvation army, trash cans, etc. Money however can be used to get water, clothes, a shower, etc. HTH Crystal
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
Thank you for your honesty, another very valid response. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
@winky73 (1396)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I'm not big on giving money to someone standing on a street corner begging for money.Now if someone came up to me and would ask for help with finding a job,a place to live or anything of that nature....I'd be the last person to turn them down.I have been through some really rough patches in my life....but I never resorted to begging. I met this person a few years ago while I was looking for some boxes to move with.He was a older man(he looked clean...but from his clothe you could tell he didn't have a lot of money)and he was looking through the dumpster behind the local grocery store at the the same time as I was.He wasn't looking for boxes....he was getting food that the grocery store had thrown out.I got to talking to him and he informed me that he didn't have enough money to feed himself and his dog and that a lot of the food that got thrown out was still very good and that he would never ask someone els for anything he could not get for himself.I did not have a lot of money myself at the time and the only cash I had on me was a $20 bill.Before I left....I asked him if he would be offended if I gave him some money....he just looked at me and with a smile on his face told me that I didn't have to do that.I handed the money to him anyways and as he took it he said"my dog will be so happy....he will have food for a while".I just turned around and walked away.To this day I think about that every time my life is not going so well and I keep going with my head held high...knowing that I will not ask for anything I can not get for myself...just as that proud old man did. I guess my point is....before you give to someone on the street corner.....give to those who try to help themselfs.
@ukchriss (2106)
7 Feb 07
I also always buy the Big Issue. I dont like to give money to beggers, but there is this one person who is always sitting outside where i go shopping so i do always buy him something to eat.
• Philippines
7 Feb 07
Begging, actually I am person who likes to help other people but not with their financial needs because I have my financial needs too. I read one discussion here that begging only is also possible, a new fad. I am not sure if people are buying the stories because all may be just lies.