Mendicancy means the act or practice of begging or relating to being a beggar. In cities where progress is seen with the number of highrises and commercial establishments, more and more people are into begging than ever before. Here in the Philippines there is an anti-mendicancy law known as P.D. 1563 Mendicancy Law of 1978.
are not pleased with mendicancy,
and they see it as an annoying trend
of the poor and the needy
who have to approach anyone on the streets
with their outstretched hands
to beg for food or money
and even go from one house to another
to ask for anything.
They know no shame or embarrassment
for they are desperate to survive.
And the only way to live
day to day is to beg.
That's why no one could blame those
who are against mendicancy
for they are working people
who know how to earn money
by having a job and are in no way
begging for mercy from anyone.
A lot of them don't give out anything to beggars,
and don't even bother to look at them,
and even go to the point of
insulting them for begging
and not try to look for jobs anywhere to earn.
But when we treat beggars that way,
and say "no" to mendicancy,
are we being fair to our fellow human beings?
I think not!
Living in the city is very hard to do
since the cost of the lifestyle
is way too high for ordinary people
with ordinary jobs.
In the first place,
looking for a job is a lot of time
and effort and even money
because there are so many who come to the city
thinking of looking for greener pasture
only to find out that they have
to compete with everybody else
who are looking for the same thing.
Even a college degree or diploma
don't guarantee of getting a job easily.
So what more with people
who were not able to go to college
or even finish high school,
who were born to a poor family
that couldn't afford three meals a day?
And there are families who don't own anything:
no houses, no lands or lots to settle in,
with no education whatsoever
for they can't afford the cost,
and who are just staying in the sidewalks and city slums.
That's why their only means
of surviving is begging.
They can't apply for a job
because they haven't gone to school,
and even if they apply for hard jobs
like houseboys, street sweepers and the like,
who will trust them enough to hire them?
Will employers accept such people as those?
One thing for sure,
employers are picky,
and careful about getting people
to work in their businesses.
They always hire the best candidates.
We can't just refuse those people and say,
"look for a job somewhere
and earn your own money and stop begging".
We have to be considerate
for it's no easy way to live
the kind of life they have.
We have to remember and never forget
that most of them don't have anything
they can call their own:
no houses, no lands or lots,
no education and no way to be hired
and get a job!
And suppose we were in their shoes,
what would we do?
And how would we feel when
we are being refused
and nobody gives us anything?
Let's start to be fair
and be considerate to people
who are not as fortunate as we are.
Helping the poor and the needy
is not bad at all,
and it's not true that
we are just making them lazy
and dependent on us
and making them unable to stand
on their own.
They just don't have anyone to turn to,
and they don't have the capacity
to make a living or get a job.
Giving them something is like depositing
some money in the bank
that you can earn interest one day.
It's pretty good karma baby,
we have to remember that.
Giving them much is the best karma,
and even giving them a little of what we have,
say, a peso or a penny, goes a long way.
We can still look forward to receiving
something back in the future
especially when we are in need that time.
All of us humans should not only
live for ourselves and our families,
but also live for other people
who are desperate for our mercy.