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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Do you give money to beggars?

As I lay flat on my Yoga mat, images of beggars on a damp street of the Friday Pasar malam flashing in my mind. A mother with a one-year-old child on her lap, he was drinking milk while another toddler sitting right beside her. She was digging her foot the time I saw her.

Further up, there is another dark and skinny old man lying on a thin layer of cardboard. He put his palm together to form the prayer sign to passerby for sympathy. Beside him, it was packets of drink given by kind soul. I was going to give each of them a dollar. A gentle voice whispered to me. By the time I came back from all shopping, I left a 50 ringgit note and a one ringgit note. As I was nearer to the old man, I told bb to pass the money to the old man. He did, dropping the one ringgit in his plastic container. The old man shakes his hand hard to thank us. I feel so bad for the man. But then on a second thought, could he be a drug addict waiting for his fix?

The mother again, I was not willing to give away my 50 ringgit. So I looked away and walked passed them. I felt terribly bad for the boy beside her mother. Is he in school? What would he be thinking right now? What if his friend saw him begging with his mother? Would he have very low self-esteem when he grows up? I feel very apologetic for them as I write this. But again is it a syndicate? Is there a mafia watching them from afar? Where is her husband? Do they have home? Where is it? Why can’t she work? She is so young probably about 30 plus. Is life terribly difficult that she has no other solution but begging? Or it’s just an excuse for being lazy? Argh! It is none of my business; I need to get some rest. The time is 2am now. BB is fast asleep on our bed. The clock is stuck at 12:15pm, dead again, this time it is not the battery.

Gosh! Still in the beggar issue, my mind is being stubborn. I have heard about beggar being very rich and frequented uncle Lim’s – Casino. And some even are regular at the goldsmith. Now, How do we judge who is real and who is not? Aiks, it’s only small amount of money you are giving out. But if everyone thinks like that, beggar can be richer than me ler. But really, do you give money to beggars? I am super tired now. My Mind is messed up. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzz!

18 comments:

Jesslyn said...

Last time I did give them but after I knew the news that they might be richer than me, then I stop.

wow, u gave RM50 note? so generous!

maria @ twinsmom said...

same with Jesslyn, I gave last time, but not in the recent years.

Adrian & Alvan said...

I won't give money, but I buy them food. How if they take the money for others use? I had an experience that I bought a begger McD french fried he refuse and request for money, see..

jazzmint said...

i will definitely not give money hahaha...only offer money to old folks home or church. Beggars, kenot trust them lah. Some of them looks pretty healthy, so I don't quite understand how they ended up begging.

Don't get urself too stressed up.

MyLittleChampion said...

aiyo, that is why i dont want to go pasar malam. you'll see alot of these beggers and sometimes it breaks your heart seeing them with infants and children.... donate but how much can you donate? sometimes, there are more than 10 of them along the road.... Jazz is right, donate to church or charity organisation...

Lazymama said...

We still give occasionally to those handicap and lost thier ability to work.

Really pity the kids! Sad!

For old folk home, it's better to donate them grocery items instead of money.

blinka.Li said...

I don't nowadays. Really DON't. Prefer giving to church or old folks home or other means.

By giving I guess we will encourage an unhealty living-they turn lazy, depending on others, encourage 'mafia' as u said. It will also make it difficult for the authorities to curb these people because they will always be there! Not good for the image of the country..

fighting with your consciense? go to an orphanage, offer something and u will feel good la! :)

Ricket said...

Very hard for us to be judgemental, some of them are really in poverty, some are not. But its our heart and mind that we have to question, not them.

Egghead said...

never offer money!
the best thing you could do for the mother and children is to call up social services... otherwise... you won't be able to solve their problems in the long run :)

geetha said...

I don't usually give them money.

I know I give charity and donations in other ways.. but when I provide beggars money at these 'pasar malams', I am only encouraging them.

Little do we know, there may be a head to collect teh collection, and give them some.. and the routine goes on every 'pasar malam' days..

TWO LITTLE FELLAS said...

it's very disheartened to see images of the poor esp when the young ones are involved but i do agree with others that giving money is not the solution.
it may not only induce people to be lazy but it may also encourage people to make money out of it - where all the recent cases of kidnapping the young ones to beg on the street.

so, i have stop giving since then, except thru' the proper channel.

Zara's Mama said...

I never give to beggers.. NEVER. I don't believe they should be begging, but rather should use the time to find something to do. Really.

And I heard lots of these are syndicates.

I also never give to people who walk up to you in a coffee shop and ask for donation, because I don't know how genuine they are.

However, I am willing to give to real charitable organisation like World Vision (in fact I have a sponsored child since 2002), and Hospice, because I know what they do with my money.

Allyfeel said...

Jesslyn,
No, I didn't give him $50, no way. I walked pass her la.

maria @ twinsmom,
Yalor, I used to give to those monks, but after reading the nespaper that they are fake, I stopped giving.

Rachel,
Serious?? Haha, that one probably is a con man. :)
Thanks for stopping by. I will check out ur blog soon. My internet is so slow now.

jazzmint,MyLittleChampion,
Thanks, I was not stressed up. :) Just had some thought in mind. Yes, I agree with you totally. Money shld be given to a proper set up organizations. I myself donate to Makna every month and also Malaysia Tzu chi.

Jefferene,
Ya, I understand how you feel. Sometimes I don't mind also just a few dollar. I used to go old folks home to help them with cleaning. :)

blinka.Li,
Agreed with what you said. Definitely don't want to see more beggars taking advantage of us good citizen. I do give donations to proper set up organizations. I just feel for the poor kid on the street, it's not their choice to end up like that.


Ricket,
Ya, this is purely on our heart, if we decided to give, just think positive right?

Egghead,
What's the social services number eh??
Actually I agree with what you say.

geetha, TWO LITTLE FELLAS,
Ya man, thinking about it just make me sick. I should stop giving money no matter how pityful they look.

Zara's Mama,
Oh, U had a sposored child, that's nice. I do give donations to Makna monthly and Tzu Chi and some small aid to people in need of help from the newspaper.

Lydia Teh said...

Allyfeel, I'd just written an article on beggars for the sequel of Life's Like that, so it was sort of deja vu for me reading this entry.

michelle said...

I will give whether they are rich or not. My thinking is don't let cheaters get in the way of the needy. I am sure there are genuine beggars who need money. Anyway, I feel good in my heart to at least reach out to those who need money.

But I never give money to a drug addict.

Allyfeel said...

Lydia,
Haha, what a coincidence. :)

michelle,
I must have think like that too, that's why all these thoughts emerged in my mind. Good on you. We shouldn't feel regretful after giving money out.

clair said...

I was approached at A&W by an elderly lady selling torchlights or something. I debated with myself but finally said no. She kept mumbling as she walked away, "poor me, no dinner for me tonight". I felt so bad.

Normally I give to places where I know my donation will be put to good use. Thinking about that made me feel much better afterwards :)

Allyfeel said...

Hi clair,
Well, at least she is not begging. She sells things. Well ya, just think positive, I try to even listen to positive songs not those sob sob kind.