Choose Generosity Over Judgementalness
Every time my wife and I leave a Lakers game we`re confronted by half a dozen beggars with outreached cups. Usually we just try to avoid eye contact and pass quickly - annoyed rather than moved.
I`ve got lots of justifications for this callous indifference: "It`s just 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 of them?" "If I give tonight, will I have to give every night?" "If I give beggars 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, they`re so much less fortunate than I am. Why am I so unwilling to help? A dollar or two would be meaningful and $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 I.
As I write this, I am resolved to choose generosity over judgmentalness. 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, and we can provide moral support for each other. Let me know what you think.
After all, our character is revealed not by our best intentions, but by our consistent actions.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.