Beggar 1: Brother please help me, GOD will bless you. My husband died three years ago and since then me and my children ”dey” suffer.
As Donatus walks past this woman on his way home, he wonders:
Even if her husband is dead,how about her husband’s family?..How about her own family? How come she’s looking so fat and well fed? How can a healthy middle aged woman spread a mat across a major walkway and sit comfortably with a set of triplets? He says to himself : Is she crazy? He surreptitiously takes a glance at her blue begging pot and being an ex-cashier, it wasn’t too hard for him to estimate its content…Approximately 4000 Naira? he says to himself.wow! Multiply that by a week that’s equal to the salary of an average teacher in a month.
Anyway, give and it shall be given unto you. He walks back, dips his hand in his pocket and whips out 200 Naira for her.
Donatus walks the full length of the side walk and takes a short bend, suprised by the look on the face of the guy that bumped into him, he exclaimed : Nna easy oo !
Beggar 2: Sorry bros. I am coming from Ibadan, I came to check my uncle in Ikoyi but met “his absence” and I had to walk from there to Obalende. Could you please help me with some change I need to return to Ibadan tonight, my mother is very sick and there’s nobody to take care of her. No amount is too small sir.
Donatus looks with pity; out comes a 500 naira note and a ”safe journey” wish.
Tired and a bit grumpy, Donatus eventually gets a bus, sits at the back hoping to enjoy a quiet ride home. Out of no where a subtle voice says: Hallelujah! In a mickey mouse tone.
Beggar 3 : Brothers and sisters the kingdom of GOD is at hand please repent. In the book of blaa blaa bla blaa bla……..after about ten minutes she eventually says:
Thank you for listening to the word of GOD. I will be alighting at the next stop, please help a sister with anything you have ,GOD shall reward you in 7 folds.
Donatus murmurs and says: after all, it is better she begs than chose to be a prostitute.
He whips out another 200 (at least she’s not going to Ibadan).
This is the life of the average Lagosian.
We run into all sorts of beggars every day but if the beggars have a definition for what they do and why they do it, how about the givers? whats their own motive?
This class of people (the givers) is divided into four;
The Saara (offering)people
The Religiously Jejune
The cheerful givers.
The compassionate givers
The “Saara” people do not give out of love or compassion.They give in a bid to appease something or with the hope that something strongly sought after will eventually be found. E.g an open womb, a flourishing business, and in some cases, a promotion at work etc.
The religiously jejune are those who give once they hear : GOD this, GOD that……All they want to do is take advantage of the ”give and it shall be given unto you rule” with no personal commitment and No thoughtful seeding.
The cheerful givers are the Donatus (Always donating money here and there). The sad truth is that these people cannot even manage their own finances.
The compassionate givers: This one understands compassion.Knows when and how to give and gives without expecting returns.
What ever we do let us remember that even though begging is officially the third oldest unofficial occupation, we should be more interested in ”teaching people how to fish rather than give them fish.”
We should also be able to identify who the true beggars are. Is it those who sit by the way side helplessly with their plates in their hands or the “beggees” who find joy in putting things in those plates with the hope that their own businesses would flourish, their evil deeds will be forgiven or that the gesture will bring them long life and not minding if the lives of these beggars never improve?