I don’t do it, but apparently, many do around the world. You see them everywhere – outside the malls, outside the grocery stores, standing on street corners, sitting beneath the protruding glass and concrete awnings of metropolises everywhere; you can’t miss ’em. They’re beggars. They want your money for food, for beer, for drugs, for a bus ticket back home (so they say), for whatever. I’ve never looked at them with disdain; however, I never did give them money because I felt they’d just use it for drugs and, if they really were hungry, they’d hit up a food pantry somewhere.
Because of Jainism, I’ve come to look at beggars differently. I now see what they do as being a service to mankind. Yep. With a simple donation of food or cash you eradicate some of the negative karma that has built up on your soul. Since you have to do one act of kindness every day, helping a beggar out in his time of need is but one way to accomplish this task. It’s real easy, too. It’s not like you have to go out of your way to help them. They’re right there, under your nose. So give generously, people. The soul you may be saving is yours, not theirs.