The Beggar and I

No, the picture above was not the beggar I saw.

The pic above was googled. I didn't have the heart to take a picture of the man even from a distance. Suffice to say, he was a mid 30's to 40 gentleman; unkempt with poor overall hygiene, cavitating teeth, barefoot and with nothing but a rugged t-shirt and shorts.

It is only common to avoid eye contact or even conversation with "beggars". For most, people have preformed ideas of why the people beg.

Were they there by choice? or is there a syndicate behind it all?

If there was one thing humans are vulnerable to, it is compassion. Nobody says look at the Malaysians. They say, "think about the Africans everytime you have leftover food". The attacks in Syria, bombings in Paris, earthquake in India - and people send multitudes of supplies in form of medicine, food, clothings and some even money.

A few days ago I went to the automated teller machine as I was running short on cash. As I parked my car and walked in I noticed the man squatting at the side stairwell. I imagined that he would somehow ask passer-by's to give him money. As I vacated the bank, he approached me and asked for money -

"Minta wang, saya lapar. Tolong bagi sikit wang untuk makan".
(give me money, i'm hungry, please give a little so i can get food)

I gave him a simple hand gesture indicating I was not going to do so (no I did not flip him off). But I then felt maybe I should do something for this man. I walked a block away to find a coffee shop that sells a good meal. I bought some for myself and also got him a pack of teriyaki chicken rice with a char siew pao.

It totalled up to be less than RM10, but when I gave it to him - he immediately showed his gratitude. As I walked away I saw him scavenge the bag of food and devour the bread so urgently.

To me, it may not be much. But I can imagine that it may have been his only meal for the past several days or that even to come. I'm not one to give money away unnecessarily, but since he asked for food - why not. I urged him to get a job as he was physically able, but he showed humiliation and an expression of being rejected.

I guess we can only do so much. Leave it with a prayer ~

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