I was on the subway yesterday and this old woman asked me for money, and as usual, I ignored her. I don't usually give money to beggars and I'm trying to figure out why, but something tells me that I'm not going to like what I conclude.

Sometimes I think about what the beggar is going to do with the money. Maybe he'll buy alcohol or drugs or something of that nature. I definitely would not want to assist them in that, but theoretically, they have to buy food eventually (or find it in a dumpster). I guess that's why I would be more comfortable giving them food.

I also think that giving them money doesn't solve the problem and that they're just going to be dependent on begging. But what else can they do? Who's going to hire a homeless person? I wouldn't.

I think it's also easy for me to blame the government because they are not taking care of its citizens. Even though I believe this is correct, in this situation it sounds more like an excuse not to help the beggar.

I want to jump to the conclusion that I'm just selfish and all that talk about saving the world doesn't mean shit if I don't help the people in front of me. At the same time, I feel like I'm not doing myself justice if I just leave it at that. There has to be another reason why I ignore beggars.

I have to say that looking the other way seems to be a natural reaction for me. I don't even think about it, I don't even analyze the situation; I just always ignore them (or at least try to). This leads me to think that it has something to do with my upbringing. I have never made a conscious decision to ignore beggars so it must have been acquired by observation of others (most likely family).

I'm more mature now, I can think independently now, I can analyze situations better than I ever could. So why do I still ignore them? I want to say that breaking habits is hard especially if it's one that has been pretty much life-long. Nevertheless, I can't leave out the factor of selfishness.