18 September 2007

Would you do it ... ?

I was seated alone at my lunch table, finishing my food when I was approached by this old woman.

Her face betrayed the tough times she' been through, wrinkled and tanned. Her hair frayed, yet not really unkempt. She gave me a toothy grin, and stretched out her hand, holding an empty plastic cup with some loose change in there.

She rattled it a little, and asked me for a donation.

I politely refuse, as I do always.

And she walked off to the next table, where she repeated her routine. It must be a very monotonous job, with a very high probability of rejection.

It set me off thinking ... one day, if I ever lose it all, would I ever be able to beg for a living?

Would I have to change my mindset? Would I have to accept the blow to my personal ego? I seriously can't see myself begging, but you never say never, do you?

What sort of disaster would make me beg instead of work? What sort of personal disaster would make you beg for a living? I'd much rather be a sweeper in McDonald's than be a beggar, but that's me.

See, in my psyche, there's never been an alternative to working. Need money? Work. Want better life? Work. Want to get better in life? Work.

I'm sure all beggars would choose to work if they can get work. Or would they? I'm pretty sure there's something to do here in Malaysia if you want to do it. Or am I wrong? Am I naive to think that you'll always be able to find a job?

I can't help but wonder, what's her life like when she's not begging? What was it like before she started to beg? What made her do this? Does she not have an alternative?

13 comments:

may said...

I would try welfare first. hook me up with some job, no matter how low paying, if it's as good as I could get. even if it's to work in exchange for food and shelter, no need money. beg? well... a very teensy weensy maybe. probably 'cos I have too much pride... lol!

Che-Cheh said...

I think as long as I'm arm with just a teeny weeny experience like typing, washing dish, sweeping floor...I don't have to be a beggar.

Most beggars I see are old folks people. Make me wonder whether they were left by their children.
But some I sense they have given up on their life.

angel said...

Ma try the oldest profession in the world... sell backside :(

JL said...

i would personally go buy food for the beggars than giving them money :)

Sell backside?! ikut berat boleh kah :P

saoirse said...

Like you, I never say never...

However, no matter how hard life can be, I will never beg for a living. I believe in well planning for better future. What do you think? :)

Winn said...

teach her go blog..ppp :P

Will said...

i believe if there's a will, there's always a way...

moz monster said...

may: I would think I have too much pride to beg as well, and yes, if there is welfare, and if I can work even for food and shelter, I'd do it !

che-cheh: I don't think they've given up on life. I think they've given up on employment. It's sad that here many jobs go to foreign workers when we could have employed some of our senior citizens. E.g. Many workers in McDonald's in Singapore are senior citizens.

angel: I don't think aged backside sells. Unless of course, there is a market I am unaware of. =P

jl: Yup, if I feel like the beggar can really use some help, my help would be in kind rather than in cash. Wah ... if backside can sell by weight ... I'd probably be rich !

saoirse: One can plan, but the best laid plans ... you know, isn't really up to us. Still, I'm sure we all can find ways to overcome adversity !

winn: ... but ... either she'll start hanging around free Internet access places all day long, or she'll have to beg long long to buy a PC and subscribe to Screamyx ! How can ???

will: No wonder will keeps finding a way ! =P

laundryamah said...

LOL..laughing at Winn's comment... don't like beggers..i think they are just lazy..

moz monster said...

I'm sure there's a story behind each beggar, reasons for them to go down the path they're on now.

Maybe not all them are lazy leh ...

angel said...

mari-mari... gua tag sama lu...

Anonymous said...

Ever thought that begging is a profession of its own? It does take a skill and not everyone can do it (not that I would choose to do it myself). Negotiating a deal with the objective to close a deal does have its subtle similarity to approaching a person with the objective to have a coin drop into a cup. I am not putting the profession of a sales down (just an analogy) but really, beggars are people too with a lot of pride. My 2c worth and apologies for the long post :)

moz monster said...

angel: And I thought I've escaped my fate as the tag target ...

anonymous: Welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment on my humble web abode !

I can see your point of view, and I think I know where your argument is going.

While it's a valid point of view, I can't help but disagree on begging being a profession. Some beggars do go to extraordinary lengths to get some $$$ from me, but for most part, they put on a face and rattle a cup expecting me to help them out.

At least sales people have something in return for you, be it some services or goods, in return for your $$$. Beggars don't do much except to lighten my pocket.

But really, I appreciate your response, and welcome your comment !