Pope Francis recently offered advice regarding the perennial question of whether giving money to a panhandler is good. He said, Give and don’t worry about it. His advice is scripturally sound and was offered in an interview with a Milan magazine before the beginning of Lent.
An Ethical Musings’ reader took the Pope’s advice to heart. Here’s the reader’s description of what happened the first time that he followed the Pope’s guidance:
This evening I was walking up to the State House and ran into a panhandler, he asked could I spare a dollar.
I said, yes and gave him more than a dollar, shook his hand, looked him in the eye, wished him luck – I think he was shocked and I was also. We spoke to one another like two people. He looked me in the eye as we were shaking hands, thanked me and wished me luck.
The Pope is right – I believe we both felt good about the meeting.
Try giving to panhandlers during Lent. If you are willing to share, I’d like to read about your experiences.