Sunday Poser # 100

Welcome back to another Sunday Poser

This week my question is;

When you see someone in misery do you avoid thinking about it or do you do something about it?

I think even this question can make people uncomfortable.

In my country, there are many people who beg on the streets. More than half of them are professionals, they feign illness, infirmity or pretend to be hungry for food.

When I was younger ( read naive) I would give them money generously, only to see them going to the next person and repeat their story. This made me cynical and I stopped giving out handouts. Now I donate to charities that I know are genuine and trustworthy.

But still seeing people on the streets, begging for food or money breaks my heart.

What about you; do you give money or food to people asking you or do you ignore them as not deserving and give to charities you trust?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section or you can write your own post and link it to this one so that I can find it.

As usual, thanks of visiting and reading.



77 thoughts on “Sunday Poser # 100

  1. I try to give to people what they need instead of money. I believe in helping people help themselves and connecting them with the right resources if I am unable to help them directly. Otherwise it could easily become a heartbreaking pattern.๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very wise Grace. Thatโ€™s a far better way of helping. I support a charity who gives interest free loans to poor people to start small businesses. They repay when they are able to. And some even give donations to the charity. Itโ€™s a wonderful, self-sustaining pattern.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not have a bunch of extra money to hand out to people who donโ€™t/wonโ€™t work. I used to give a few bucks here and there, but now it just annoys me when I see them. So many are โ€œprofessionalโ€ beggars and scammers that you canโ€™t tell who really needs the cash. Since I donโ€™t believe thereโ€™s a God smiling down on me for any charitable thoughts, however misguided, the brownie point concept doesnโ€™t motivate meโ€ฆ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Got your point Paula. It is annoying when they refuse to work and ask for money. Though to be honest, standing on roads and Bria no easy task. They might be better off working.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. For personal friends or family, my first instinct is to ask them directly what they need to help them, and then do my best to fulfill that request. With complete strangers, I tend to be more impulsive and remedy their situation with whatever seems to be lacking. But in both situations, I try to assess whether I’m being used or lied to. Most times, I do think they are genuinely in need and do my best to alleviate their suffering. As Suzette commented, “Acts of mercy in giving to those in need are never wasted.” I agree.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Susi for sharing your thoughts! If a person is known to you then helping them is easier as you can provide what they need. For strangers, itโ€™s difficult as we donโ€™t know if they are genuine.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve seen or heard the same thing in regard to individuals pretending to be in need. Is it cynicism or just being cautious? There have been a couple of times someone has come up to me and asked for money and I have given them some. As for those standing at stop signs and such, I do not reach out to them. According to the Holy Bible, if someone asks for something, you should give it to them. Are we to judge whether or not they truly need it? Does it include everyone begging on the street? These are difficult questions and I do not have answers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Youโ€™re right Brandon, we canโ€™t know who is In genuine need and who isnโ€™t. The best way is to help those we know personally. Or donate to those charities who we know to be reliable. Thanks for sharing

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I give to those in need/ saying they are in need when I have something to give. It has been times where I gave my last and found out as you have before that they weren’t genuine. I still give until this day in whatever way to help, place to stay, food, money, etc. I just pray (while helping still) the ones asking me are being honest and not taking advantage because that’s a resource that could have went to someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree that this is a difficult situation. I have to be honest and say there are some family members who expect others to bail them out and not do anything to help themselves so I’m loathe to support them with money.

    As for beggars, I think the problem of professional beggars is universal. I see beggars outside my train station when I go to work but I believe they are genuine – the fight I observed between them and some of the “professionals” because they felt they were hurting the genuine homeless people sleeping on the street. As was said above, the genuinely homeless will be happy for food or a hot drink (they usually sit outside the coffee shop so I’ll get them a coffee or a hot chocolate which was requested one time).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Youโ€™re right that those in the family who are just looking for free handouts should be discouraged. Sometimes the genuine people in need can be recognized by their restraint. Theyโ€™d only ask for what they need, not money.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I donate to a couple of different charities. I also think when we act with empathy and compassion to those people in our lives that are suffering, this is an additional example of holding space for the knowledge that to live is to suffer. We all do in different ways, thus, acts of kindness and generosity are never wasted, as you and Suzette note. Mercy is a valuable asset.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. i give when i have something to give like food. and at the very best of my ability, see them as the capable people that they are, gainfully employed, honest, and hardworking. kinda hard, i know, but i dont have a choice. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜†

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I try to help by giving time when I can. There are a lot of info on big NGOs that is not pretty, people or organizations that have two or three people at the site of a tragedy while staging photo ops. I believe everyone should go on mission trips when given the opportunity to a third world country and physically work. You will be the one blessed. ๐Ÿฆ‹

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Giving is a good habit. But I don’t give money to beggars. I carry a fresh, seasonal fruit in my bag all the time. And whenever I see a beggar near a metro station or in a traffic signal, I give them the fruit that I am carrying.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a very important question Sadje. In the town I grew up in, I never saw anyone begging on the streets, but our town was I suppose economically a very poor area. It was a newtown with very cheap housing built very quickly in the 60s/70s. The vast majority of housing was council housing. A lot of people in our area were on “the dole” when I was growing up, because we were in a recession. But overall people had a roof over their heads (even if there was damp growing up the walls), and if they did not have a job received some financial aid. Many had moved to that newtown from old council houses in Liverpool where they still had outside toilets, so although they were poor quality having an inside toilet was still something many people were grateful for.

    The first time I saw anyone “begging” was when I visited the city of Manchester as a teenager. The first man who asked me for money smelt very strongly of alcohol, and although I was deeply moved, something told me that giving him money would not be wise. But five minutes later I saw someone selling The Big Issue (a magazine sold by people registered as homeless), so I bought a copy as it seemed like something I could do. Only that day, I passed at least ten other people selling the Big Issue, and it was hard not stop again. I ended up buying five copies of the same edition of The Big Issue, and then telling myself I could not buy a magazine from everyone selling. It moved me deeply though.

    I started working with local charities when I was 16 and this enable me to feel I was contributing in a small way towards people effected by lots of challenges including homelessness. But it was also very educational, especially when I moved to London and spent a lot of time with people who were homeless. I must mention now, that not all people who are homeless would beg for money. And of course, not all people who beg for money are homeless. Personally, I found it important to recognize that everyone is different and has a unique story. One woman I met had deliberately chosen to give up everything, her career, her home, her life all out of a sort of internal outcry because her daughter was refusing to speak to her. She did not care anymore. She had lost the will. She did not want help. She just was disconnecting from everyone. She had a chronic illness, and she knew very well that by not going to her medical appointments she would deteriorate. I spent hours and hours over several weeks with her. She was happy to talk and we talked about all sorts, but she said that until her daughter was willing to talk to her she had no reason to go on with the life she had led. It was excruciating for me as she was incredibly strong-willed and she really did not want any economic help or other assistance. She wanted to be out sleeping on the streets, rain or hail, because it was her statement of utter outcry over her daughter’s silence.

    I also got to know some of the well-known Big Issue sellers very well and heard their stories. Many did freely admit having had challenges with alcohol. I heard stories of family rifts, of horrible landlords, of sudden tragedies and illness that had plunged them from a precarious financial situation to pretty much destitute. But there did seem to be a difference between someone who was determined to get their lives sorted and accept help to find some shelter and some income, to those who seemed to just sit on cold concrete all day with an empty coffee cup for people to toss coins into. I do think that someone’s emotional state can make a massive difference to how they deal with the loss of their home. Some are determined to get out of a situation they don’t want to be in. Others seem to have lost hope, lost energy, and have given up. They seemed resigned to the situation, as if “fate” had dealt them a bad hand and they cannot do anything to change things. I think especially in London where there are so many warm public buildings and places to go for a free drink or a free meal, it is hard to see people sitting on a cold pavement, with thousands of people walking past them. Very hard.

    I do think offering to buy someone a coffee or a warm meal, especially in the cold weather is a nice thing to do. But I have asked several people if they would like something to drink or eat and they replied that they would prefer some cash. I am uneasy when someone says that. I do give to Shelter and St Mungos, and I prefer to direct cash to those organizations rather than giving it directly to someone who is sitting on the pavement. I know of so much going on to help people who find themselves without a home, so it is hard to see someone sitting on the cold pavement.

    I still find it concerning that there has been an increase in those sitting on the cold pavement. About two years ago, a girl who looked around 25 was sitting in the cold, and she was clearly very articulate and confident. She spoke to nearly everyone passing telling them she had been kicked out by a landlord after the Pandemic had effected her income. She wanted money, she turned down offers of food. She said she had no choice but to beg so she cold save enough to find somewhere else to rent. But I have seen others sit on the pavement leaning against a rubbish bin with a card sign saying something like “I am hungry. Please help”, and they clasp their hands together and with eyes closed raise their face to the sky and appear to be praying in another language. It makes me heart ache to see so many in that situation. But I have also seen some things that confused me. One time I saw a lady shivering in the cold, and then I heard a phone. She pulled an i-phone out of her pocket. I cannot afford an i-phone, I have a very basic phone (not a smartphone) that I carry for emergencies and so people can contact me, so it was something I noticed straight away. I was waiting for a bus, and while I stood there, a man with a leather jacket and designer trainers came around the corner and started speaking to her in another language. He was pointing to the other side of the road (where more people walk) and so she picked up her things and crossed the road and repositioned herself. Something about that situation looked very strange Sadje, and I think I will forever be curious about what is going on there.

    When we were in West Africa, we found a different situation. Most people were just incredibly friendly, warm, hospitable and generous. But everywhere we went, we also found people trying to sell us things. I am no good at haggling over a price, so I think I was probably ending up to be a very good customer for some vendors. We were very pleased to buy artwork, crafts, clothing, but of course we had a limit to how much we could spend. So sometimes, when we had bought from several people and tried to move on, others would literally chase us trying to get us to buy more. That was difficult. But I didn’t see people begging. I really admired that everyone had a sense of enterprise, they all had something to sell, maybe veggies they had grown, or baked goods, art they had produced….everyone seemed to be a vendor….and of course when it came to art and crafts, some were more skilled that others. But I had huge respect for people. It really made a huge impression on me that even though in the UK we felt as if we had a low income compared to many others, our life in the UK was one were what we thought was basic – flushing toilets, electric power showers, washing machines etc would have be considered luxuries by many who we met and worked with while we were in West Africa. I have countless stories of the inspirational people we met in West Africa and how much they taught us.

    When we were in Romania, we stayed in the apartment of a friend. News spread in the neighbourhood that we were there, and every time we left the apartment block men would greet us asking for money and they would run after us pleading. One day we had just been to a bakery and bought these delicious pastries – half of them were cheesy and the other apple. When a man started following us asking us for money and telling us he had not eaten for days, one of the group gave him a bag of pastries. He was so angry and he started to throw the pastries at us. Our Romanian friends told us not to give out money to people running after us in the street. But one day we were on the train and a man without any legs was dragging himself along on a sort of skateboard asking people for money. Our Romanian friends all brought out their wallets to give him some money and they asked us to do the same. When we talked about it afterwards, our Romanian friends said to us that people running down the street after us had the ability to work. But at that time, the man without any legs was unlikely to receive support financially or practically and so that he had little choice but to ask for others to give him something.

    I just hate that in this world there are economic extremes. For anyone to lose their source of income and their home it must be a very stressful frightening experience. Maintaining hope and practical wisdom in that situation is key. I am sure that many will experience economic hardships. In some lands there is some government help available, or charities working to provide assistance. In other lands there is little public help. Friends and family may be able to support. But overall, I do believe the entire world economic system needs changing drastically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mel for sharing your heartfelt thoughts. I agree that we cannot judge people based on appearances. Some look destitute but are in fact okay. While others maintain their dignity and donโ€™t ask for help but are in fact very hard up. There are professional beggars everywhere and those are the ones who only want cash. Youโ€™re doing a remarkable job, and we all should be like that. Helping with our time and resources.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have charities that I trust!!!! Donations that I give through the year to women and children shelters. I cycle throughout the year to raise money for St. Jude.
    I would like to give people money but so many are strung out in drugs and I donโ€™t want to help out with a deadly habit. Great Post Sadje

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It all depends on who it is and what the misery is. If it is a family or friend… I will OVERthink what I can do to help or solve the misery. The idea of those looking for handouts, since my job in retail I have seen a different light to the homeless situation. A couple would often stand at the driveway looking for money… funny thing was they came in and bought electronics with the money and not food. But then again I had a dear friend who truly was homeless for months… I try to find the charities that actually HELP the homeless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is important to find the correct way to help people. The professional beggars are not deserving of a single cent. And those who we know are deserving, we should go all out to help.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Same thing happens here in Lebanon. Once I saw this woman get out of a taxi in expensive clothes and an expensive handbag, then when she reached the mosque, she pulled over a dirty ripped jilbab to hide her expensive clothes and face and took her shoes off to make it look like she can’t afford shoes and took out a plastic bag, put it in her lap and started begging.

    Liked by 1 person

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