There is a sad, unfortunate, and all-too-common scenario that happens on the street corners of the majority of large cities across the world. The situation is familiar to us all because we each have faced it several times. And while the locations and people may be different, the circumstances are often similar. Usually the setting includes a man or woman who is extremely unkept, smells and looks as though they have not showered for weeks, is often sitting next to the entirety of what they own, and their eyes and hands are outstretched pleading for assistance.

But I have often wondered what is more unfortunate – the awful situation of the sad and desperate beggar, whose situation was brought on by poor choices or unavoidable life circumstances; or is it actually found in the judgmental, scared, or selfish throngs of people who carelessly pass by these beggars (who also are human beings)?

The thoughts, intentions, or excuses that go through our minds during those sad, sometimes scary, and usually appalling moments when we are confronted by such a beggar often reveals much about our own character (flaws and potential). Do we find ourselves using some of these excuses to justify our actions (or inactions): they brought this upon themselves, they’ll use my money for alcohol or drugs, why don’t they just get a job, someone else will help them, I don’t have any money on me, etc. Perhaps we feel scared, threatened, or have little children with us that we want to protect – and understandably so. Or, perhaps our heart aches for them, we empathize, we wish we could help but are not in a position ourselves to help, or we literally don’t have any money on us but would otherwise help them, etc.

Regardless of how we act or think in these situations, the reality is that we each could probably do a little more to help those who have a lot less. And the reality is that the ‘beggars’ in our lives are not limited to those on street corners. They are the neighbor or friend struggling, the person in the checkout stand who is a few dimes short or having a bad day, the sick child at the hospital, the impoverished mother in a developing country, to even a family member in need. In fact, the person that stares at us in the mirror each morning is often a ‘beggar’ at times in life. And the definition of a ‘beggar’ is not limited to one in need of financial assistance - there is just as much physical, emotional, spiritual, and social ‘begging’ that goes on every day – by all of us.

There is a principle that every successful person that has ever walked this earth has applied, and is the leading reason why they are successful – it is: Give and you will receive! This reality is unexplainable, yet undeniably true. He who is selfish with his knowledge, time, or money never seems to amount to much in life. Conversely, the person who gives of their acquired knowledge, free time (even if he has to make free time), and generously gives of the money he has earned – somehow success, happiness, and more abundance always seem to follow!

Thus, ask yourself: should I help the beggar? Just as important, one should also ask: do I want to be successful? While there are many elements that contribute to one’s success in anything in life, perhaps the greatest attribute and necessity for this success is developing the ability to ‘help the beggar.’ Perhaps initially, you help the beggar to help yourself. But the true test and challenge is to always help regardless of whether or not you have the time, knowledge, or money. And yet, although giving to help the beggar should be our sole objective, isn’t it ironic that in the process of giving we receive so much more. It is through giving, serving, and helping the ‘beggar’ that allows us to achieve our successes, reach our potential, and develop the truly important attributes of life.

Author's Bio: 

Matt is the founder of – a website focused on inspiring people to achieve their goals and dreams, live up to their full potential, and learn the secrets for success in anything. As a successful entrepreneur, Matt recently accomplished one of his dreams – to write a book! His book is entitled: “Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children.” To view the book and learn more, visit: