Money and Generosity

by TTMK on June 28, 2012 · 12 comments

Helping others in need is something that be very rewarding – both for the giver, and for the recipient.  And there’s little doubt that there are plenty of people in need.

While there is the school of thought some have that those such people needing help should pull themselves up from their bootstraps, “find a job”, “get a life”, etc – some people truly are in dire straits. Some of these people could truly use a lift every now and then.  Not have everything provided to them on a silver platter of course, but just a little boost to help them survive.

Of course, what somebody chooses to give – or not give – is a matter of personal preference. Some people like to give, and it feels rewarding and satisfying to do so. Others feel offended at the idea that their hard-earned money should go to someone else who didn’t earn it.

With all that in mind, if we looked at this on a continuum, I would put myself more toward the side of enjoying giving.  Now, I wouldn’t want to portray myself as someone who is some pure giver like Mother Teresa might be perceived, because I do have moments where I don’t want to be taken advantage of if I think someone is actually lazy. But for those truly in need, I do help on occasion.

I’ve written about these types of things in other venues, but occasionally I see some homeless people asking for money.  It seems like money might help, but perhaps food is a better choice? With that being said, it’s not like people are walking down the street in the city carrying food with them at all times, so that option isn’t always common.

Well, recently I did see somebody give a homeless guy a meal, and it was cool to see.  Actually, I was working late that evening and had to catch a commuter train home.  I was hungry, so before boarding the train, I decided to go the station’s food court to get a sandwich.

While there, I saw a guy who was clearly a professional walking in with a guy who was clearly on the streets. The professional guy asked the homeless guy what he wanted to eat, and then proceeded to buy it for him.  As I watched, the homeless guy didn’t order anything excessive, just a sandwich. The other guy told him he could get a drink if he wanted, and so the street guy just said he wanted water. Then he asked if he could get chips, and the buyer said sure.

When the transaction was over, the homeless guy thanked the other guy very much, and profusely.  He then ran – literally ran to a seating area, and started eating the sandwich immediately.  The other guy just smiled and walked off, not saying anything.

It was cool to see – money was spent to truly help someone, not given to be used for who knows what.  Additionally, both people were respectful of one another. The giver did a good deed, and the recipient seemed thankful.

The bleeding heart side of me, which isn’t always present, was happy to see this 🙂

My Questions for You

Have you seen any really good examples of generosity with money?

Have there ever been any times where you’ve helped someone financially – or taken the other way, have you been in a position to be helped?


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Edward Antrobus June 28, 2012 at 7:18 am

My coworkers and I routinely buy each other coffee, fountain sodas, or Slurpees. I bought everyone an ice cream sandwich on Friday when it was over 100 degrees.


TTMK June 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Edward – that’s a nice gesture on your part. Today it was 100 degrees here, and ice cream would work quite well.


Daisy June 28, 2012 at 8:57 am

I had a friend (old boss, actually), who was going through a really hard time financially, defaulting on mortgage payments, in collections, etc. She was going through a divorce, she had three kids, her business had failed, and she had severe depression. One of her friends bought her a bunch of groceries one day that made a HUGE difference in her life.


TTMK June 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Daisy – it’s often the smaller gestures like that which can really brighten a person’s spirits!


Kathleen @ Frugal Portland June 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

I love this story. You seeing that guy do something for someone he didn’t know makes you write about it, and reflect upon your own generosity. And that is awesome. I keep small bills in my car for the people holding signs on the side of the road.


TTMK June 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Kathleen – that’s really cool that you proactively think of helping like that. Good stuff there!


L Bee and the Money Tree June 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

What a great story–I’m sure to both the professional and homeless guy that 5 dollars was worth WAY more than actual money spent 🙂


TTMK June 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

L Bee – thanks for stopping by. I got the feeling that it was a great value for both parties!


Brilliant Finances June 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I buy beggars food too, I would rather see them eat something than do God know’s what with some money. One guy I bought a sandwich for inside the store asked me if I could buy him a 2 liter of soda to go with it. I bought it, but a 2 liter of soda seems like a lot of soda to wash down a sandwich. I’m sure he enjoyed it though.

Does anyone remember those Coke commercials with the jingle “I’d like to buy the world a Coke to keep them company”


TTMK June 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Brilliant Finances – that does seem like a lot, but maybe the guy did enjoy it! As for the commercials you mentioned, yes I do remember them. Those have a way of staying in our memory for a long time.


SB @ One Cent At A Time June 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Giving money to needy is in fact a good karma, what goes, comes back. So my faith and I believe in giving. I give to my parents who are retired, I give to poor children. Keeping my own future in mind, I try to do whatever I could.


TTMK June 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

SB – Nice to read, that’s the boomerang effect in play.


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