How many times have you been asked for money?
I never knew why but beggars pissed me off. Do you feel the same way?
Everyone has their “rough” times, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t get over the feeling that they were lazy, chose to fuck up their lives, and deserved it. I knew it was wrong.
It felt unfair. After all if my family could make it in America without speaking English, then why couldn’t these people do shit with their lives? Isn’t America the land of opportunity as long as you’re willing to hustle
Then recently someone challenged me to beggar for an hour.
“Oh great. It’s going to be one of those empathy exercises. Fuck me.”
Little did I know it changed my life forever and the way I gave to people.
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do”
When was the last time you did something that scared the shit out of you?
A piece of me died. I didn’t want to ask for the “easy way out” or feeling like an outcast from society. Working hard and hustling was apart of my identity.
But I had to do it. So I went to Walmart and took a cardboard box, borrowed a sharpie, and made a sign. I took my shirt off, went to the closest coffee shop, and was scared shitless to ask for money.
After 15 minutes of avoiding the inevitable, I finally asked for a dollar from a worker collecting trash.
Me: Can you spare a dollar?
Worker: You see me? I work for my money. You need to get a fucking job.
Shortly after I got kicked off the plaza for panhandling. And I couldn’t get mad for that worker for how he felt. Instead of spending time with his family, here he was working just to get minimum wage to feed his family.
Let’s face it. No one likes picking up trash and spending time away from their kids. So when he saw me, an able bodied asshole, asking for a dollar of course he was pissed. Every dollar he hustled for, he felt like I was stealing from him and his children.
Then I realized the craziest thing. The worker was a reflection of myself. It was a reflection of how I treated beggars in the world.
But why was I really mad?
Just like the worker, I sacrificed a lot for my six figure pharmacy check. Some of the things included…
- The weekends I spent studying instead of going out with my friends
- All the holidays I spent away from home because I had to work
- My inescapable $180K student loan from pharmacy school
It wasn’t fair that I had to bust my ass for a career that I didn’t love. So when I saw beggars simply ask for money, I thought… why the fuck would I give to this “lazy” fucker over here?
Life was so unfair. I blamed everyone but myself for my problems. When I gave to others, I wanted them to like me and accept me. I couldn’t give unconditionally because I didn’t have enough in my life. Questions started to pop up like…
- Am I truly loving, open, and as giving as I think I am?
- Do I only give people accept and love me?
- Do I ever truly give from my heart?
Looking in the mirror, asking these questions, and seeing the truth was difficult, but how can we ever change if we keep believing our own bullshit?
The truth? I didn’t give from my heart. That’s when I realized I saw myself as a victim. I wanted beggars to suffer for their money, because I felt like a victim.
At the end of the day, it was my choice.
Who chose to go to pharmacy school, take on a $180,000 loan, and work in California? It was me… not anyone else’s.
Was it the beggar’s fault that I was miserable in my life? Was it RIGHT to treat beggars this way? So when I realized that I was doing this, I cried like a bitch. How did this show up in the rest of my life?
I thought about all the people I took out my anger out on. Things were never my fault and I hated accepting responsibility. Because of that, I made people feel like shit and I was single. Why would someone want to be with a person who always blamed others instead of looking inside themselves?
I didn’t want to be a victim anymore.
Want to know the easiest way to breakout of the “victim” mentality?
Make choices. Stop blaming other people for your problems. When things don’t go the way you want, take full responsibility for your results. And then love yourself unconditionally.
Why? It’s hard work.
This experience taught me that giving a beggar money isn’t really about them. It’s a reflection of us.
I know what you’re thinking. There’s always that chance that they could be lying and use the money on drugs or alcohol. But it’s not about being right or wrong.
Maybe someday that small act of kindness, might make them feel some type of way. If it changes one person’s life… is it worth it? It’s about choice to spread compassion and unconditional love in the world.
So today I’m committed to keeping singles in my pocket so I can relearn how to truly give unconditionally… and always be prepared for the strip club.
Let me ask you. How do you show up to the world when a beggar asks you for money? What do you truly feel? Leave a comment below.
Until next time,