When You Walk Past A Beggar

When you walk past a beggar

When you walk past a beggar, or a homeless person, What do you do?

If your first reaction is one of caution, that’s okay.

If your first reaction is one of putting extra space between yourself and the beggar, that’s okay.

If your first reaction is to look away from the beggar and try and avoid eye contact, that’s okay.

If your first reaction is to pretend they are not even there, that’s ok.

For many, walking past a beggar can be an indecisive time. We hear so many things about beggars and homeless people, that we naturally act cautious and may even have to think carefully before taking any action.

Past beliefs and karma

In the past, when I was much younger and more naive, I never used to give money to a beggar. I was always told, by my spiritual family, not to. I was told that I if gave them money and they then spent that money on alcohol, I would get the bad karma.

I was fed all sorts of beliefs that limited my perception and taught me to be afraid of doing anything genuinely good. I was taught to be selfish. I am fairly sure that I am not alone in this experience or alone with these beliefs.

Here is an example of some good that came out of a similar act: I was also told, never to donate blood because if my blood went to someone, who did something bad, I would get the bad karma from that.

After a while I broke free of that spiritual family. One day, some friends of mine were going to donate blood and asked if I’d like to go along. I had to think carefully for a while but then I decided what the heck and went along with them.

That was about 20 years ago and since then I’ve been donating regularly. I recently met a fantastic young lady who happened to stumble across my blog.

We quickly became good friends and I started to learn lots about her including the fact that her life depends on her getting a blood transfusion on a monthly basis.

Now just remember that we met randomly through her finding my blog, but then we realised that we both have the same blood type and that she gets her blood from the same place where I donate my blood.

So there I was, I was told to believe something when I was younger and I was given a very good reason why.

But then I made my own reasons of “why not?” It wasn’t a question of whether what I was doing was right or wrong, it was a question of what felt right to me. It was an action that allowed me to feel like I was doing something for the greater good.

I was doing something and helping people which is my favourite thing in the world.

Changing your attitude

So there I was yesterday, walking past a beggar and feeling that initial insecurity; “what should I do? Where should I look? How should I feel? Should I acknowledge them? Will I feel guilty if I walk by without giving money? If I ignore them maybe they’ll disappear!” Do any of those questions or feelings seem familiar to you?

I decided yesterday to give this beggar, all the change I had within my pocket.

Before I did, I smiled and I knew that I wouldn’t catch anything.

I pulled out what I had, it was about £5 in change, I walked up to the beggar and gave him the money in his hand. When I walked away I didn’t think about what he would use the money on; I didn’t feel like I did it out of pity; I didn’t even feel like I was giving him any money.

I felt like I was walking past me, and this other me asked for a sharing, and in that way I shared something with this beautiful human soul. I didn’t think about what clothes he was wearing or that he may hurt me. All I could think was that this soul was a God, just like me.

It was very important for me to feel like my actions were not out of pity or guilt, but through my choosing and for a higher purpose. There were so many ways for me to look at the situation but my favourite was to think of that soul, having attracted that £5 by asking the Universe, and I was the response.

When you walk past a beggar…

If your first reaction is one of caution, that’s okay. But after you’ve overcome your caution, offer a smile.

If your first reaction is one of putting extra space between yourself and the beggar, that’s okay. But then, walk over to them.

If your first reaction is to look away from the beggar and try and avoid eye contact, that’s okay. But then look at them as if that was you.

If your first reaction is to pretend they are not even there, that’s okay. But then acknowledge them fully, and say hello!

20 Responses

  1. Lyman Reed says:

    Awesome post, Amit… some real food for thought. What you said about “walking past yourself” is such a great insight into what we are doing every day.

  2. Amit says:

    Thanks Lyman, I think what really hit home for me was the experience of the blood donation. It also reminds me of a scene from the film “pay it forward” where the junkie, saves the life of the woman who was about to jump off a bridge…but he specifically said to her…”save my life”.

    I still remember my promise to you about that post about anchoring. I will do that very soon! 🙂

  3. Prasanna says:

    beautiful article amit! These are some of the little things that we go through in day to day life and it just always reminds us onething – there isnt anything that you can claim as your own, its all inherited or passed to you from someone else! I really liked this post of yours after a few long series of posts! Keep it up!

  4. trinity says:

    Good choice. Everyone we meet is a reflection of oneself. Do as you would be done by. Smile and give.
    Coincidence about the blood group … narrrrrrrrrrrh! Meant to be. Great post. Will visit here again.
    Thank you of reminding me … that too … the Beggar may of been a King in disguise. (Divine) :o)

  5. Amit says:

    Hey Prasanna, Thank you so much and how true what you say about all things being inheritance and not possesions. We are caretakers, not the owners! 🙂

  6. Amit says:

    Hey Trinity,

    Great to have you stop by! What a perfect statement….everyone is a reflection of oneself. Again how true! And as for him being a King, you never know! 😉 😀

  7. Mital says:

    Great article Amit and a great heart! I try not to pass a homeless person without giving them something. It’s kind of tough since I’m in New York City, and we have a lot of them here, but I try my best. If not money, I offer them a silent blessing or smile. The upside of giving them money or food is the instant graditude they feel. Being in the state of gratitude is the best state to be in, every time your thankful for something you just feel so good. I want them to feel that! I have more than enough, and I will give whatever I can. 😀

  8. Amit says:

    Thanks Mital, we share many of the same values and I’m grateful to you for coming here, sharing, and being a part of my wonderful life, as much as I hope to somehow contribute to your wonderful life also! 😀

  9. MysticSaint says:

    i loved the way u started this and how u ended!

    it was brilliant my friend. i learned something really.

  10. Amit says:

    Hey Sadiq…great to hear from you and I’m glad you enjoyed the article my friend! 😀

  11. Kavita Sohanta says:

    Something happened to me a couple of weeks ago, which i never told anyone. I was at Asda at the self serve check out. It was really busy so was rushing, putting my things in my carrier bag, i paid with my card, and it asked f i wanted cashback, which i selected yes (£10) as i would need it for bus fair the following week. For that split second of packing my bags, typing in my pin, i completly forgot i had asked for cashback, so grabbed my receipt and went on my merry way.
    I realised half way down the road what i had done, and had that “doh” moment! But the funniest thing happend, i started laughing, and the following thought came into my head ‘it was clearly needed by somebody else’!
    If that had happend to me a year ago, i would have really beat myself up about it. Hmmmm – life certainly throws little lessons at us to show us how much we have grown!
    Anyway – thought it was a nice story to share with everyone! xxx
    Peace and Blessings! xxxx

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Awww just for that I’m going to do something very special for you Kavi and that’s an amazing attitude to have towards those kinds of events…it’s easy to get pissed off at the self over something silly like that but you showed real understanding of those little life lessons! 🙂 xxxxx

  1. April 8, 2010

    RT @amitsodha: When You Walk Past A Beggar http://bit.ly/aMO2yB

  2. April 8, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amit Sodha. Amit Sodha said: RT @amitsodha: When You Walk Past A Beggar http://bit.ly/aMO2yB […]

  3. April 23, 2010

    RT @amitsodha: When You Walk Past A Beggar http://bit.ly/94N4M8

  4. April 28, 2010

    […] famous works of art 25) Track down a lost friend and get in touch 26) Call a distant relative 27) Give some spare change to a beggar without thinking about what they might spend it on 28) Plan your strategy for becoming world famous 29) Start a trend 30) Create a cool new word that […]

  5. May 21, 2010

    […] me nice and toasty. As I left the book shop, I was walking back towards my car and I came across a beggar who was sitting on his bum with his legs outstretched before him. He had taken his shoes off also. […]

  6. January 20, 2011

    RT @amitsodha: When You Walk Past A Beggar http://bit.ly/94N4M8

  7. June 4, 2012

    #Archives: When You Walk Past A Beggar http://t.co/fCXBbTsx

  8. September 10, 2015

    […] are many ways to be charitable in an incognito way. You can walk past a beggar, stop and have a conversation with them. Maybe give them an alternate gift. Maybe buy them a warm […]

Share your thoughts with the world :-)