This was our running joke when we lived in NYC. I was always carrying food, but the people begging almost never wanted my healthy snacks or fruit - they wanted burgers or fried chicken or just cash.
This morning as I walked to work I met a young man who was asking for food or money. I looked in my bag. I had not brought a lot with me, but I had a handful of really juicy, sweet carrots. They weren't cut or peeled, just rinsed, as that is how I eat them. I hesitated, telling him I had some food, but it might not be what he wanted. He said anything would help, he was hungry. I held out half of my carrots. He grabbed them and then looked at me. He looked disappointed. I told him that they're really sweet and fresh, and he responded, "OH! I can bring them to the park later and feed them to the squirrels."
"The squirrels?? That's my lunch! I offered it so you would get some nourishment," I told him, laughing but honestly a little offended. In the end, he said that he would eat them, but he may have been placating me. Now it's lunchtime, and I'm hungry, and he is probably eating a burger and feeding my organic carrots to the squirrels.
So here's the question: do I have the right to be offended? I mean, from a yogic/spiritual/completely healthy perspective, I think that any gift should be given freely, without any intention of what happens to it next. We should give for the sake of giving, and once given, let go of any attachments to the gift. So that's what I'm working on... I'll let you know how it goes, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
EVENT: In line with this theme, we will be starting our Lunches for Locals Program. We will be making PB&Js and then bringing them down to the Mission to hand out to anyone who wants some. Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 1-3 pm. We'll be at the studio making sandwiches until about 2, then head over to hand them out. Join us for any or all of it. :)
Sign up for this free event HERE.