Awesome sunset with cloud shadow
My own abundance
has always felt far greater
when I am giving
Verbose but articulate? Yeah, I can do that. ;-)
For myself, when it comes to panhandlers, I go by the vibes.
When I was a "starving" college student in Santa Monica, which is a fairly well-to-do area, though my mom and I weren't terribly well off at the time, I used to see these young, tanned, healthy guys, who were clearly able to work, panhandling.
All freaking day. Nope. Not giving them a dime.
Going by the vibes has served me well. And, in the end, there's usually only question I need to ask myself: Should I, or shouldn't I? And the answer comes quickly.
I remember being sent on an errand one Thanksgiving, with my then-sister-in-law, when we saw a homeless guy with a "will work for food" sign, and she said immediately, "We should bring him a big plate of Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings."
I was driving, and agreed immediately - it was in the spirit of the day, her dad always made tons of food so there would be lots of leftovers for the kids to take home, and the decision was made. And we were both jazzed about it.
We got whatever her dad sent us to get, probably more beer, took it back to the family, fixed the man a big plate of food, and a second plate with two generous slices of pie, then set out to find him again.
And we drove up one street, down the next, and on and on, until after twenty minutes or so, it looked as though we might not spot him again.
She finally suggested we give it to the next homeless person we saw, then we turned a corner, and there he was. I pulled over next to him, she handed him the overloaded plates of food, and he looked flabbergasted . . . and a bit teary-eyed.
And, after wishing him a warm and sincere "Happy Thanksgiving," we returned to her parents' home and the rest of the family, truly grateful that we were able to find him, and to give him a really good home cooked dinner for his Thanksgiving meal.
As for my own vibes, one of the most striking incidents I recall was one night here in Tennessee, not long after we moved here, when I got a wild impulse to go to Walmart, even though nothing I needed couldn't wait until morning, and it was around 2 AM.
I really did not feel like leaving the house. I told myself it was ridiculous, but the impulse wouldn't let me go, so amid some grumbling to myself, off to Walmart I went.
I got what I needed, then came back out and started putting my bags in my car, and was immediately approached by a young woman who was clearly distraught.
Evidently she had just left her abusive boyfriend, had her two little kids in the car, with not much more than the clothes on their backs, and needed fuel to get to her mom's place in Knoxville, two hours away.
She told me that she had food stamps, and would buy me food of the equivalent amount, but I told her to keep it for herself and her kids, who clearly needed it far more than I did.
I don't tend to keep much cash on me either, so I put $20 worth of fuel in her tank, more than enough to make it to Knoxville, and gave her the rest of my cash, which was maybe ten or twelve bucks.
I should note that, at the time, Marek and I were had just taken a big hit financially, and were wondering how in the heck we were going to come up with our mortgage payment, much less paying the rest of our bills, feeding our animals, and putting food in the table and gas in the car.
But, that night, all that took a back seat to this young woman's plight.
And I had absolutely no doubt that the whole reason I had the nagging impulse to go to Walmart, right then and there, was to help this young woman and her kids to get away from a dangerous situation.
I hope it helped.
So what is the likelihood that one or more people over the years weren't really in need, but simply scammed me because they could? I've given to a fair number of people over the years, so it's likely there were a few, and I'm okay with that.
I'm a pretty decent judge of character, and my vibes have served me well for years, so I'm inclined to think that whatever scammers slipped past my defenses were far outnumbered by those truly in need. And, even if I'm way off, and most or all of them scammed me, I'm still okay with it.
The bottom line is that, if my inner self told me to give them the money (or whatever else I may have given), then there is a reason why I was meant to give it to them. If they didn't need to receive it, then perhaps on some level I needed to give it, perhaps for my own spiritual development, or for some other reason I've yet to discover.
I do know that giving to others has always benefited me more than them, simply because it makes me feel good, and helps to give purpose and meaning to my life.
So, from a purely selfish perspective, if every single person I ever helped scammed me, which I don't believe for a moment, it would still be okay in the long run, because they gave me far more than they took.
And giving has other benefits as well. I've posted before how, many times, when I was married to my ex and we were donating to various causes, and many other times when I was donating and/or volunteering while single, amazing benefits would accrue for us immediately following, in ways we could never have guessed, and which we could never have expected.
Put more simply, when we have done things for others, without expecting anything in return, we have far more often than not gained benefits, sometimes massively, in ways that were not only unexpected, but occasionally completely bizarre.
On the other hand, doing for others in order to benefit rarely works, and can often end up having the opposite effect. And the universe can have a cruel sense of humor at times.
But I am a longtime believer in giving as generously as I am able, and sometimes when I've been at my brokest financially, it has made me that much more determined to give, because it is in giving that I feel abundant.
And abundance, sometimes in weird and wondrous ways, tends to flow from that. ;-)
Half the liquid proceeds earned from my posts will be evenly split between the two organizations.
For the record, my previous posts said all SBDs, rather than half the liquid proceeds, and when I first wrote that, for @tarc, the liquid proceeds were being paid out with half Steem and half SBDs. But no SBDs are currently being given, hence the change, which is merely a formality, as I was simply planning to substitute Steem for SBDs where necessary.
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