When Beggars Become Choosers

Panhandlers usually respond positively to my nametag.

Which makes total sense: It’s an easy opening. It’s a chance to engage. And it’s an instant connection that might increase the chance of a donation.

But for the most part, I choose not to give them money. And I have my reasons.

For example, I once met a homeless guy outside of Voodoo Doughnuts. He asked if I could spare some change for food, so I offered him three boxes of donuts instead. He paused for a moment, looked at my nametag and said:

“Sorry Scott, but I don’t eat sweets.” Huh. I guess beggars can be choosers.

So I rarely give.

But I never ignore them, either. I can’t. When somebody says your name, it’s hard to look the other way. No matter how poor they are.

Instead, I smile, acknowledge their presence, wave hello and keep moving.

That’s enough for me to not feel like an asshole.

The point is, if you see people bleeding – you can’t pretend they aren’t really hurting.

You don’t have to rescue them. You don’t have to give them your life savings. And you don’t have to wash their feet.

But don’t act like they’re not there.

If you don’t give money, at least give acknowledgment.

How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

For the list called, “134 Questions Every Salesperson Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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