Giving Money to Strangers
In this article, I want to discuss why you should give money to strangers.
Yesterday, I was driving around Amsterdam on my scooter going to see a friend, when I passed a woman on the side of the road. She was raising her hand to me, motioning for me to stop. She was dressed in all black, appeared to be in her mid-forties, and, to be honest, she looked somewhat scary.
I stopped and when she approached me, I will be honest, I wasn’t really that friendly towards her at first because I wasn’t sure what she was going to do. Right away, she started crying and told me that she had slept in the bushes for the last four days. She didn’t have the money that she needed to get to the women’s guest house.
I looked in my pocket and saw that I had two 50 euro bills, so I gave one to her and she hugged me. I asked her, “Are you going to the guest house right now?” She told me, “Yes, I’m going to pack up my stuff and go there.” The whole encounter lasted maybe 20 to 30 seconds and then I drove away. After I started to drive away, I started thinking that I should give her the other 50 euro bill I had as well. I stopped, turned around, and tried to find her, but unfortunately, she had already left.
A couple of things happened to me – first, I felt really grateful for the life I live and second, I felt pained that so many people are suffering like this. I eventually made it to my friend’s house and we discussed my encounter. He told me he had read in a book somewhere that anytime you feel like you should give money to someone who is in need, you should always do it. If you don’t, then the feeling that you could have helped someone and didn’t will stay with you in your system and it will make you feel bad. Because the thought enters your mind, you have to do it.
This reminds me of a person I met in South Africa who runs a multi-billion dollar company and has devoted his life to helping other people. It is my belief when he made that commitment, his life and his business improved because he does not get as distracted anymore – he has one focus, which is helping people.
The lesson of the day is you should think not only about making a better life for yourself through your business, but also improving the lives of others. With that mindset, you may become more disciplined and more focused on making money so that you can give away a little bit more.
I have been in this position so many times and it always hurts me to see people suffering. It is important to remember to never be judgmental when you come across someone who needs your help. It could easily be your family or someone you love in that position. Would you judge them as well? We all make dumb choices, but some choices come back to hurt you and some don’t. Imagine if all your mistakes were uncovered to the public; some people would probably be really judgmental towards you. In the end, we all need to be more focused on really making a difference in peoples’ lives.
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