I was eating a piece of toast this morning and my two new rescue dogs (that heartwarming tale here) were jumping up and down, begging me for a piece. I assumed they were not taught that begging is rude. But they are so cute and little, I let it go. Suddenly, I had an epiphany.
I realized that I rarely, if ever, give in to begging because I have no problem saying "No." Does that make me nasty..... or smart? Let's look at some instances of begging and see how we feel about giving to these six types of beggars.
KIDS: The more my kids begged me for something, the easier it was to say no. Did that make me a mean mom? No, but it kept a lot more pennies in my pocket. However, when they got older and learned how to negotiate, it became harder to refuse them.
STREET PEOPLE/PROFESSIONAL BEGGARS: Sometimes this one can be tough but I 'know' too much to be fooled. I realize there are genuine cases but how can we tell the difference? A few years ago I learned something very disturbing about the policy where I live. Drug addicts, most of whom are in the 'system', are given $1500 a month for living expenses. Apparently they are too ill to work so they are taken care of with my taxes.
Often they come into our store and ask for money. Remember the man who feeds table scraps to the dogs? The same man 'loans' money to these people. Sometimes, they actually pay him back but then ask for more the next time.
Here's one for the books:
A client of mine told me ashamedly that her daughter quit her job as a teacher because she made more money on the street corner -- as a BEGGAR.
GRANDKIDS: I'll have to get back to you on this one as mine aren't at the age yet. I have a feeling it won't be so easy saying no, but isn't it a grandmom's job to spoil them?
POLITICIANS: Do we even need to go there? They are worse than kids - giving promises they have no intention of keeping if you give to their cause.
Who is the number one offender?
You are RIGHT! Charities. This is like a thorn in my flesh. From the pathetic pictures on TV, magazines or letters we get in the mail to the blatant lies they tell to extort funds from hard-working citizens, they are professional beggars. I don't think I have ever fallen for this one - at least as far back as I can remember.
Recently a young man came to my door and started giving me a song and dance about the organization he represented. I gave him about 15 seconds of my time and then told him I was not interested. He was well trained and started insulting me for my lack of concern and sympathy. He chose the WRONG lady. I enlightened him on a few facts including the salaries of the execs in this non-profit charitable organization. I couldn't sway him and pitied him for being brainwashed.
On the other hand, I will be the first one to give to a good cause; but it must be local so that I know the people involved.
A good friend of mine is quite wealthy, 96 years old, and still sharp as a tack. When deciding who to leave her fortune to in her will, she picked an international health organization. She personally knew the CEO. He told her to leave her money elsewhere for the very reasons I gave earlier. She is leaving it to the local Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (SPCA).
Thinking about this today, I now realize why beggars don't bother me -- I just say "No." What about you? Can you think of any other professional beggars I may have missed? Is it easy or difficult for you to say no? Or do you give because you feel guilty if you don't?