Poverty as an excuse

Last night, while having dinner in an open venue somewhere in Commonwealth Ave.

Batang lalaking pulubi (kuno): Ate, pahingi ng pera nagugutom ako. Kanina pa ako walang makain, wal….

Me: Nasaan magulang mo? Sila singilin mo. Dapat sila nag-aalaga sa iyo. Ako nagbabanat ako ng buto. Sila singilin mo. Saan magulang mo? Di ba da….

Batang lalaking pulubi (kuno): Sige salamat na lang po kung wala.

Me: (Relieved pero dismayado sa encounter na iyon.)

Reflection:  I really do not have a heart for “street chidren” acting as “beggars” in the street. I know those street children got parents and since time immemorial this begging tactic of some of the poor for survival is, to me, just a manifestation of laziness, of hopelessness, of resigning already to his/her own misfortune.  This bothers me a lot. Always. Extending help to a less fortunate is really not that easy. You need to think twice before offering help and consider its implications. If you refuse, you’d be seen as selfish. If you give in, you’re only encouraging him to beg for money.  In this case, I refused to give the child a penny because I would only encourage him to beg more, again and again. The cycle of poverty will not stop. And my way to stop it is to discourage him from begging for money from me.  Which led me to ask: Begging for money is already an effortful task. So why can’t the parents of these kids, or particularly these children, just go get a decent job.  I just hate it when poverty is being used as an excuse to beg for money from others who work hard for the money.


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