Are you better than a beggar?

A few years back, I was in India travelling on a public bus. As I got down on my stop and started to walk towards my destination, I was approached by a lady probably in her middle ages carrying an infant on her arms, wrapped up in a cloth. She told me that her child is sick and she needs money for the bus fare so she can take the kid to the government hospital. I felt sorry for her and handed over some money.

A few days later, I saw her again in a different bus stop and she approached me again asking for money with the same excuse. I was amazed but not surprised as a lot of people use begging as their means of living not just in India but all over the world. I did not ask her why she did that or blame her for lying to me and getting money from me the other day instead I just said no and walked away.

I often debate whether one should sympathize with people who beg for a living or be mad at them. Some say if the person is able bodied then he has no excuse to beg, while some approve of disabled people begging. Personally I do not encourage people who beg but when I thought about it, I felt that it really depends on the person doing it.

The lady who lied to me for begging, she is no different than any of us. Even people working in big corporate worlds lie and cheat a whole lot to make money. Everybody starting from politicians, to doctors, corporate leaders, religious leaders, public services lie. Everyone’s agenda is to make money. So whether you do it by cheating people for making millions or you do it to make a few pennies, the ultimate aim is the same.

At least the poor does it to because of his poverty, the rich do it because they are greedy. And I wouldn’t say that the not so rich are innocent. They do it too in their own ways. The bottom-line is we have no right to judge anyone, even if you are like the nicest person in the world.  People do things for various reasons, no one is ethical. If you need to bring a change start it from yourself, blaming others is very simple but changing yourself for the better is hard.

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