Every day we encounter people asking for alms: on the street, on the subway, near a store or church. Some walk by without remorse, some selectively help people, and some just can’t help but put down a penny, even knowing the many stories of professional beggars. But why?
To help or not to help beggars? The question remains relevant to many people in many different situations. Proponents and opponents of street begging make quite convincing arguments in defense of their point of view.
Basically people are divided into two groups. The first are those who, to the best of their ability, give and help everyone, without reasoning or asking unnecessary questions. And the second group consists of those who refuse to give alms believing that there are too many cheaters who pretend to be needy and beggars and ask for money not for buying food or getting out of difficult situations. As a rule, most of the cheaters are part of organized communities in which all the income is divided among the group members, with the beggars themselves receiving a pittance.
But there is also a third type of person who feels ashamed when they pass by a beggar. And this is normal: their upbringing affects them.
Although it is the duty of every Christian to give alms, even the ROC advises to do it judiciously and according to one’s abilities. So if you really want to help someone, you should do it wisely, so that help will really serve its intended purpose.
How do you help?
If you want to help the person asking for alms, but you’re not sure that your money will go to good use, it’s better to buy him food or bring him clothes. The scammer is likely to give himself away by continuing to ask for money. If the homeless person needs medical attention, call an ambulance or make an appointment with a doctor you know.
Either way, such intangible support will be more helpful, and you will be able to understand exactly whether the person needs it or not.
Who should not be helped?
Among those who ask for help, you can distinguish the following frequently encountered categories. These are various disabled people (the deaf, veterans of the Afghan or Chechen wars). As a rule, such people have pronounced signs that they need help, so it is up to you to help them or not.
Often priests who collect “for the construction of the temple” are asked for help. In this case, it is worth checking the authenticity of their words. Sometimes it is enough just to talk to these people, and everything will become clear.
People asking for help for medical treatment should have supporting documents. Most often, those in real need cooperate with foundations or have groups in social networks, where they also ask for help. Check before you give money.
However, if you meet a person or a group of people day after day, and even more so a pregnant girl with a huge belly for a year, you should think about how honest they are.
Not enough for a ticket
You may be approached on the street by a man asking you to pay his fare. Before agreeing to this, again find out where and for what purpose he is going, whether he is expected there. If possible, try to contact his relatives somehow. In addition to fraud in this case, the person may not understand what he is doing. It is common for people with multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s to leave home and go to other cities that way.
In any case, it is up to you to help or not. But thoughtlessly giving money to anyone who asks for help is not wise. It’s more likely to be called wasteful.
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