DO WE GIVE ALMS (CHARITY) OUT OF PITY?

This morning I had a very interesting conversation with a very elderly man. He was carrying a big bag fill with packets of tissues. He went about from table to table asking people to buy the tissues from him. When he came to me, I asked him if he had his breakfast. He had and added that he would not mind to have a cup of coffee as he was thirsty. I invited him to sit at my table and ordered a cup of coffee for him.

We talked about the weather. Then I asked him if he is living alone. He is alone living by himself. He has only one son but he is not filial. So the old gentleman has to survive on his own. Yes, he has a small flat which he rents it out to one of his friends who is also single.

I am surprised that he can earn about $20 to $40 a day. He says that most of the people who buy from him are not strangers. “They just take pity on me and usually give me a dollar. Some of them even do not want to take the tissues,” he says. Sometimes, he faces some very rude people who would rudely shoo him away like a pest!

Well, how should we treat these people, especially the physically handicapped who go around selling packets of tissues? Do we buy from them out of pity, sympathy…empathy or just because we simply want to bless them since we have a little extra? It is a thin line. No one but we know our intention! Perhaps, some of us just give without giving it any thought!

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