While studying at CBTL this afternoon, this teenager (male) approached the table next to me and gave out this piece of paper. He left the same thing on mine. I didn’t bother taking a look at it because I instantly knew that he was soliciting. I hate it when they do that inside establishments especially those that have the sign “NO SOLICITATIONS ALLOWED” or something to that effect. I was totally irked and the kid even had the audacity to sit on my table and bug me. Good thing I had my earphones on and totally ignored his spiel.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not being selfish here…all right, maybe just a bit indifferent. But you see, I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to the “causes” of those people soliciting from others. In UP, during my undergrad days, there would be people like that kid sitting in some of my classes asking for donations or selling dried mangoes (or other what-have-you’s) to help further their studies etc.
“Soliciting” is just the more glamorous form of mendicancy. The only difference between the street beggars and those people “soliciting” in malls and other public places is that they are dressed well than the ones on the streets. They appear to be decent but in truth they are doing just about the same thing. I refuse to condone laziness and I don’t want to break the Anti Mendicancy Act albeit indirectly. That’s also why I rarely give money to beggars (especially kids) who tap on the car window. I prefer giving food since I’m not always sure if they’d really use the money I’d give to buy food or what if it just goes to some syndicate using them to make money, right? I think it’s about time to amend that law and give it a little more “tooth”.
Sure, poverty is a problem we can’t solve overnight but we are not helping those people on the streets (and even those “solicitors”) by giving them alms and donations. We are teaching them to be lazy and it may help further crimes (and other modus operandi). If we can’t do it on a nationwide basis, then perhaps the different cities or municipalities could do their share of alleviating and helping those in their territories. Those people have got to learn that easy money does not and will not in the long run alleviate their situation. Oh when will we all learn?