Beggar: (n) a person, typically a homeless one, who lives by asking for money or food.
I was always curious what was meant by the word “chooser.”
You know–the classic closer on the phrase, “beggars can’t be…” culminating with the object, “…choosers.”
So much is made of choice.
We extol it as a symbol of our control, prowess and independence. But an amazing percentage of the events that transpire in our lives provide us no opportunity to choose, and often make us look like beggars.
People diagnosed with cancer have certainly not been given a chance to select a disease, and suddenly find themselves beggars to the doctor–and if they happen to be individuals of faith, on their knees, begging the heavens.
I guess we’re afraid of the word beggar, because no one wants to be beggarly. As Webster has proven in the definition provided for us today, we relegate being a beggar to the bedraggled homeless element in our society, who should be grateful for our pocket change, while no real change is ever offered to them.
Are they just destined to be poor?
I don’t think anyone is a beggar unless we treat him like a beggar.
If you have a five-year-old child and you take him to the store, and you haven’t provided a plan to give him a treat, you will end up with a little beggar on your hands.
If you’re a well-employed, successful individual who wants to purchase a house, but find yourself a few points deficient in your credit score, you may very well turn into a beggar in front of your loan officer.
So perhaps a beggar is not a position, but rather, a judgment we lay on each other when we want to feel superior and make another feel inferior.
For instance, my children will still come to me, asking for money. I have a choice. I can roll my eyes and be disgusted that they have the audacity to request finance from me, or I can make sure to remove all the elements of “beggar” from their consciousness, and let them know how delighted I am to be of assistance.
Last week I gave five dollars to a gentleman sitting alongside the road. Feeling he had a role to play, he began to grovel and feign tears in an attempt to prove to me that I was his superior and he, the dependent.
I refused to be part of the play.
I told him it was my blessing–that I hoped that in some small way he would be able to use it to brighten his day.
I took the “beggar” out of the definition … and gave him the chance to just be a man who I was able to assist.