domingo, 1 de marzo de 2015

Helping Beggars? (Day 67)

Two days ago I went to the gas station and I saw a guy outside that seemed to be a beggar. When I was coming back to my car I saw this guy approaching an old man, but I didn’t pay much attention until I suddenly realized the “beggar” ran after me. 

I opened the car window and he said: My friend, can you give me some money? I have a job and everything. It’s just that today I am asking for money.

I realized that this guy was kind of my same age, so I felt familiar, so I asked him “why do you need money? What will you buy?

He didn’t understand my questions so I said, “do you want food? Something to drink? What?

And he said, “I want to buy some weed”. So, I grabbed a couple of coins and gave them to him. He looked at the coins and said “Dude, do you have some more?” And here’s when I reacted angrily within myself. I said “no, son (lol) I am only doing you a favor”. Like, trying to make him understand that it’s not that I MUST “help” him. 

Then he asked me “do you have a cigarette?”, and I felt pissed off within myself, because I thought “beggars just accept what you give. This guy realized I was interested in helping him and immediately wanted to take advantage of me”. So, I said “NO” and left.

While I was driving towards my destiny, I realized I reacted within myself when I was interacting with the beggar, so I felt bad. I experienced remorse, because I thought “it wasn’t necessary to react within myself, because when I thought that he wanted to take advantage of me I felt inferior, that’s why I negatively reacted and didn’t give him more money and neither the cigarette he was asking for”.

I thought, “I had more money to help him, but when he mentioned that he wanted to buy weed, I reacted negatively. Probably if he would have said he wanted some food I would have given him some more money”. 

Then I thought "But he was honest, because he didn’t lie to me. Other beggars say they need money to buy food and they only buy drugs and alcohol and do not nourish their bodies”.

I thought I could have acted differently. For instance, not giving him more money, but give him the cigarette. But what determined my expression was the anger I experienced within myself after feeling inferior when thinking that the beggar wanted to take advantage of me.

Now - another point that made me experience remorse/regret was that I realized that I always “help” people with the same amount of coins, because then I think “I could have given more money to that guy. Am I being too tight? Instead of giving 2 coins, I could give 5 and that wouldn’t significantly affect my pocket".

Then I immediately place myself in their shoes and think “if I were him. Would I like to receive that amount of money?” But those thoughts last a couple of seconds and then I continue existing without paying attention to it.

What I was thinking now is that I did “wrong” for giving the beggar 2 coins to buy some weed. Not because of the amount I gave him, but what he was going to do with the money.

I also consider that I do not define weed as something “bad” or “wrong”, because our mercantile system, science and “religious beliefs” demonize the plants such as marihuana, but consider “legal” to take pills which are a derivation of these plants in some cases. 

So, I see myself in a contradiction when thinking that beggars must only buy food and if they want something else, such as “drugs” they do not have to do it. Like, thinking apparently what’s best for them.

Another important point that I am able to see now is the context. Drugs have a completely different impact on human beings depending on the context/environment they exist/live in. So, the drugs point is not equally applied to all, because not all of us have equal life conditions.

If person “X” has a “normal life”, works, have fun, eat nice food, has a social life, etc. probably the drug is not going to affect him as much as it would affect a person who lives in misery/poverty where the only thing he/she’s got is a shitty environment and drugs. 

Now - When you decide to give some coins to a beggar it’s almost impossible to know their condition/story. If you talk to them they can easily lie and you have to beLIEve that what they are saying is the truth.

I know that the real solution is not about feeling piety and “help” beggars with our money, because what it needs to change is our system, not the amount of money I have to give beggars in order to avoid feeling remorse/regret.

I’ll continue 

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