From the desk of the publisher’s of this year’s No Duh! Guide To Sh*t You Should Know, here is a tidbit that you might not be following:
Don’t save someone that won’t benefit from it (or you won’t benefit from ).
I have seen a few men in my life commit these small but egregious crimes. Not out of some ill will but out of the super selfish mentality that they feel deep down, that feeling like you are wanted because you are fixing something.
Everyone has known someone that had a super sob story or a tale of woe. It didn’t matter if it was your perpetually mistake making maiden in distress or the down on their luck “traveling through the area” young men. The charitable drive inside of you, coupled with the overwhelming desire to be wanted, creates a condition that becomes a disservice when not used in an appropriate medium.
There is a great deal of harm that you might do to both of those people. In the instance of mistake making maiden, she is being rewarded for doing the same wrong things over and over. She has no negative reinforcement or pain connected to something that she shouldn’t be doing. She never learns, then she is falsely empowered by the attention and validation.
Handing money to the able-bodied travelers shows them that they shouldn’t toil for their daily bread, (which has been covered ad nauseum in many religious texts and ethical discussions among rationalists). Showering money on them skews the economic realities that they should be observing, especially in your region. They should be at the whims of the economic magnet, the same ones that local residents are a part of.
Somewhat realistically speaking, you should help in the best ways possible. (Steering the mistake making maiden toward counseling or a tough love source of advice/women’s group). (Tell the young men where they find the day working lot or local contractors looking for short term workers).
No one has to take your advice, but you don’t have to lighten your pocketbooks. Spend your time and money on someone that might benefit from it, namely you or the people close to you.
You might say that I sound stingy or even “un-Christianly”. I must rebut your complaints. You should spend time, effort, and money as close to “you” as possible. There are plenty of non-irresponsible charitable organizations in your community that service vetted in need people. I also make the argument that you can do small things to help people in need, like pushing a stalled car out of the traffic pattern, or helping someone get to work. (I am not saying that you should keep them from paying a Uber driver but this is not the worst thing you could do for someone).
(Note that I am specifically targeting anyone that thinks that they are “helping” the Save-a-ho/fallen angel types or the “project men” that many women fall for. It enables counter productive behavior and shows how “sick” the giver really is, which is mentally unhealthy.)
I am the last one to discourage you from having a generous heart, but you cost people much more when you misdirect your efforts.
Be mindful of when you feel that pang to help and help at the appropriate level.