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Choose Caring Over Judging

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  • Mark Sedrak
    Choose Caring Over Judging Michael Josephson Every time my wife and I leave a Lakers game we’re confronted by half dozen beggars with outreached cups.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2009

      Choose Caring Over Judging

      Michael Josephson


      Every time my wife and I leave a Lakers game we’re confronted by half dozen beggars with outreached cups. Usually we try to avoid eye contact and pass quickly – annoyed rather than moved. I’ve got lots of justifications for this callous indifference:

      “It’s a scam.”
      “Surely, they have other options to begging.”
      “They’ll probably use the money for drugs or alcohol.”
      “How can I give to one and not to all?”
      “If I give tonight, will I have to give every night?”
      “If I give money, I’ll just encourage more people to be beggars.”

      When all is said and done, it’s a rather shameful exhibition of my ungenerous nature. Regardless of their character or hidden motives, these individuals are much less fortunate than I am.


      Why am I so unwilling to help? A dollar or two would be meaningful; $5 or $10 would be momentous.

      The truth is, if every night I gave each one a dollar or even five, it wouldn’t affect my lifestyle one bit. I spend more than that on snacks and parking. If I made it a point to carry a bunch of ones and fives, I could, without fanfare, provide a little bit of peace or pleasure to people who need it much more than me.

      As I write this, I am resolved to choose caring over judging. Yet there is a lurking self-doubt: Will I really follow through or just find more reasons not to help? Perhaps some of you are also willing to commit to kindness. If so, we can provide moral support for each other.

      After all, our character is revealed not by our best intentions but by our consistent actions.


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