India – a culture of begging

Every time I visit India, I am constantly reminded that I am in a culture of beggers.

It is not only the beggers who beg, it is so many people.

While walking down the road, I am always confronted with able bodied beggers. Some are stationary and have an established post. There is a father / son team on one road, and a mother / daughter team on another road. These people are pests. They even dare to touch me with their dirty fingers if I ignore them. Perhaps these people are mentally crippled, but they are physically capable and CHOOSE not to give to society. They are takers — not givers. People who get ahead give first and then take. This is wisdom from my guru, and from Kabbalah as well; call it spiritual law if you will. The part that bothers me most is that people give so freely to these freeloaders, and also that these freeloaders train their able-bodied CHILDREN to be beggers as well. Such a waste of human potential.

So, son, what do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a better just like you! I want to be the best begger in all of Maharashtria, and to be known to all!

The thing we have to remember is that India is a country where people blindly do all types of self-sabotage. If you see one guy selling hats in the hills, there will be three others who like his idea and pop up beside him selling the exact same hats. Their market share just became diminished by 75% from this competition — an example of blindly copying others. There is a street near the wine growing region of Karnataka near Nandi Hills where you can see twelve people spaced out on that road selling exactly the same species of grapes. None of these people has enough money to rent a place to live — I think they live on the street. If a persons father sells corn by the side of the street, their son will take the same profession in many cases, just because of the copy-cat mentality which exists.

Guilt relief therapy
What I don’t like is that people support these beggers by giving to them very freely and thoughtlessly. I believe that people in India feel relieved when they give to a begger. All of their guilt is disolved because they helped another continue a life of uselessness and laziness — taking not giving, etc. Many beggers use their earnings to buy alcohol and drugs which doesn’t help. In India, it is common for beggers who are indentured to the local mafia to have their limbs cut off so they can make more money begging. If you give to an able bodied begger you are FUNDING unnecessary amputation — please understand this. I give directly to a homeless shelter and do not give to our local drunkard beggers directly since I know the money will go to Johnny Walker. Indians need to understand that if these beggers were told to be productive several times a day, many of them would be. By giving to these beggers, you are encouraging more to enter the profession.

My other experiences with regular folks
When I went to a small church museum, I was given a one minute tour, and then the security guard started begging me for a tip. Police sort of beg for bribes in a sense. Politicians get bribes too. Many people in India think that working for a living should yield pennies, and that the big money should come from unearned bribes. It is unfortunately part of the national culture. I once gave a programmer a generous tip, and he was disappointed because he wanted an obsenely large tip like the last American gave him. Their salaries are typically pennies, but when they get tips or bribes, people are expecting millions. There is no sense of scope or proportion here.

The blog
I am noticing the same type of problem with Indian companies. There is a consciousness of taking without giving. We need stories for our blog. But, companies are only interested in begging for jobs. No company seems interested in giving us any information we can share with others about their experience. What these companies need to understand is that customers are gained when you are sharing and useful to others and NOT when you only say, “give me give me give me”. Every day I get about ten misspelled emails from various companies telling us that they are ready for “the” assignment. There is no assignment — and I don’t know you. Rather than begging — it is helpful to get to know who the job providers are and try to impress them and get to know them before you start asking for something.

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