A few days back, stepping out of a cafe situated in the narrow lanes of Zamzama, a rather loud voice made acquaintance with my ear drums. The voice belonged to a young girl telling a story by heart. It was a story that was not mere narration but had the added advantage of emotion and adjustable volume and expression. To make a long story short, the girl was relaying the story of her younger brother lying on a cart pushed by her parents. His leg was deformed and the girl was pleading that somebody help her and her family and give her money so that she could get her brother treated.
My heart immediately went out to her and I wanted to rush and help her family. But I was stopped by an all-knowing voice who told me:
– Notice how confident she is.
– Notice how she is cleverly evoking emotions off you.
– Notice how instead of her parents working hard and going to well known charities for help, they are choosing to make a spectacle of their son and walk in the streets.
– Why don’t you go and try to take the boy to the hospital and pay for all expenses… See how this family will respond then…?
They are cleverly taking money off naive folks like you instead of working hard in a halal fashion to get their son treated or to go to the right people because of course common sense tells you that help will miraculously arrive in the streets of Zamzama where women are flitting in and out of designer boutiques and shoe stores.
And I realize giving money is not always the solution.