Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Why you should give to the less fortunate
When you see a homeless person, do you feel like you want to give more often then not? Does it depend on your mood that day, or the environment which you see the person in? Does it depend on who the person is, age, gender, race? Do you make a judgement call whether that person will spend the money in a decent way? What about the sign that they hold up, does it matter what is written on it? Do you do it because you want to feel good about yourself by giving?
All those questions usually are subconscious answered. For the longest time I refused to give homeless people any money because I felt it would enable them in their drug or alcohol use. I mean why are they homeless in the first place right? My perception has changed about this. It has to do with my girlfriend's job and understanding that people have many problems besides addiction. She works as a mental health worker and deals with clients who have to go through her organization's program for 2 years to learn life skills. There are many reasons that a person is homeless. Addiction is one of them, also mental health and unfortunate circumstances are as well. A person can lose their job, drown in debt and lose everything they own.
Don't assume anything.
Giving naturally makes you feel good, because it raises your serotonin levels, and the person receiving feels good. A person who walks by and sees the kind act, if there values are the same they may give too. It creates a ripple effect. I give because I want to give not because someone is telling me to give. Do I give to everyone that is less fortunate then me? Certainly not. Do I give depending on any of the questions I asked above? I do my best not to judge, knowing that my subconscious plays a big role in my decision making. I always ask myself why should this person be receiving anything?
The other day I was walking to grab take out from a restaurant here in Vancouver. I seen a homeless person walking picking up every single piece of garbage with determination and with his hands that people threw on the ground and he put it into the garbage can. I asked him the obvious question of are you picking up all the garbage, he said to me yes he was. I mean he was cleaning up the streets of Vancouver. I felt a sense of pride that we have people like this taking care of our environment. With excitement I went into my pocket and gave him a 5 dollar bill. He was so appreciative of this, he kept on thanking me over and over. I felt good after that, so good that after I got my food I felt like chasing him down and giving him a 20 dollar bill. Later when I got home with the take out, I told my girlfriend what I saw and did, she said how do you know he wasn't high on drugs?
I thought to myself, does it matter if he was high or if he wasn't? Sure he is destroying his body. But he is doing something good for the environment.
Another time I parked my car in the late evening, put money in the change meter and seen a couple with a dog sleeping by a store front. I am a pet lover/owner and I can only imagine how hard it is to own a pet when you have nothing yourself. Pets tend to be costly, just the food alone you can spend anywhere from 70-350 depending on what type of dog and what you are feeding them. So I felt the need to give.
I rarely give money to homeless people, in fact I prefer to go one step further and give a meal or clothing, or something that can be useful to the person in need.
Does it really matter what that person is going to spend money on? I don't think it should matter. I believe what matters is that you are directly impacting someone's life by being generous. Would you give money to your family if they asked for some? How about your friends? Acquaintances? So why not a stranger?
Give because you can, not because your obliged to give. You could make a difference in that persons life.
Just think a cup of coffee can cost you 3$.