A friend of mine called me a total sucker the other day saying that I regularly set myself up to be taken advantage of and abused. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this opinion.

This time, it started as we discussed giving money to strangers on the streets who ask. “You know there are places people can go for help. They use that money for alcohol or drugs.” While this all may be true, I don’t believe it’s not my job to judge why someone asks for money nor to ask what they would do with it if received.

While I’ve never been homeless, I’ve been broke and afraid. It triggers some real lonely, desperate feelings. 

I don’t believe anyone is out to screw me…or you for that matter. I don’t believe people intentionally aim to disappoint, frustrate or ruin our days.  I do believe as espoused in Zen philosophy that we are we are all humans suffering. As such, our pain and suffering are unique to us and the scales that weigh our challenges are unique to each of us as well. 

Gifts in any form are not binding obligations nor an opportunity to judge, but instead opportunities to give. While in some situations we might “want” a return gesture — this is a surefire way to set ourselves up for disappointment. If we give someone money to help them, we have to do it freely without our expectations attached to that gift— otherwise call it a loan and set the terms. While I can pray any money I give is used for food or some basic need, but who am I to judge what someone else really needs? In these situations, I refer back to the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you’d want them to do onto you. And I pray I am never in such a situation. 

How do you feel about these situations? 

Silver Disobedience® philosophy believes all healthy relationships begin with self-awareness. I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience ✨ I am a Perception Analyst and I wrote The Silver Disobedience Playbook. Here, I share my Daily Meditations for other Ageless, Passionate & Curious People.  More info in my bio, my websites and at Wilhelmina New York