Many of you who have read my stuff know that I am WAY big into philanthropy. I focus heavily on this aspect of the flow of money because of the importance this action has to the continued cycle of cash in your life. Recently, I had a request from several of you for an article I wrote regarding the panhandling community. I reprint it here with permission so everyone can enjoy it.
Angels on the Street Corner: Impulse Giving
There is a major aspect to philanthropic giving that is hidden from most people. This aspect is the numerous opportunities for unplanned giving that the Universe will throw at you to see if you are paying attention. I have been giving money away for almost 30 years, and I started my streak as an “impulse giver” when I was 12 years old. What do I mean? Well, the usual pattern for me is that I’ll be walking down a street, and on the corner will be a guy standing with a sign stating that he needs money so that he can get something to eat. It is so habitual for me to take advantage of these impulsive opportunities that I am reaching for my wallet before I have finished reading the sign. Why? Because I know that the Universe is about to send me money or an opportunity to make money, and I need to prime the pump. This panhandler is actually an angel in disguise, and he is begging on that corner not just to help himself but to help ME!
So I walk by the guy and slip a small gift into the bucket – not much, but whatever amount my conscience whispers to me. When I was 12-15 years old my usual donation was 25¢ to $2.00, which was all I could afford at the time. Now, I’m a lot better off and I’ve been known to drop $20-$60 at a time. I always listen to my conscience when selecting the amount. After donating to my “angel,” I will receive within a few days or that same day a phone call with a job opportunity or a check will arrive in the mail or I will be given something that I desperately need for “free.”
Now, you may consider me totally naïve for giving in this fashion. You have probably heard plenty of stories about panhandlers who spend their donations on booze, or who beg because they make more that way than they could in an “honest” job. You know my response to that? NOT … MY … PROBLEM! I am not here as anyone’s judge; I am only responsible for giving other people a hand up, in whatever fashion seems best. I give my money to them because that is what I’m supposed to do. What they choose to do with that money once they receive it is so not my issue; it’s theirs. You and I are responsible only for listening to what our conscience tells us to do. So, don’t look at a panhandler with revulsion! See them for what they are, angels in disguise.
The Universe wants to bless you with money, but you must prime the pump first, so dig into your pocket the next time your conscience whispers to you, “Hey, give that guy a fiver!”