Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Compared to other cities in Asian Hong Kong is relatively beggar free. However there are some.

I find begging to be a fascinating profession.

Once I was waiting for an early bus to go to work. A taxi pulled up and a man got out who was dressed in a loin cloth type thing. He got a cardboard box out of the trunk and paid the driver with (No fake) coins and then threw the box down on the sidewalk and laid down on the box and began to beg. I don't make enough money to take a cab to work so I guess the guy was doing pretty well.

My experience is not an isolated one. The Chinese newspapers here often have stories about the staggering amount of money made by beggars. Some of these are sad because grown children force their elderly parents to beg. Other times young children are forced to help create sympathy in passers by.

This is unfortunate because there are, despite the opportunity and low taxes in Hong Kong quite a number of people who are destitute. I'd like to help them but don't want support fakes. Yet, I don't want my fear of supporting frauds to keep me from helping those in need. What do I do?

I don't give money to Buddhist monks or nuns because I'm not a follower of their religion.

I also don't give money to anyone who is trying to make me feel sorry for them. There are social services in Hong Kong for those with physical and mental disabilities. They have opportunities, they don't have to beg.

If a beggar wants me to give them change they need to standup and beg with the dignity God gave a beggar.

This isn't a perfect solution. But it seems to give me some guidelines for giving away a few coins.

Anyway, it works for me.

Until Next time
Fai Mao
The wishes he could be more generous blogger

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