Begging as a performance art

by Evans Yonson

There is no such thing as free lunch. We all need to perform sometimes. Somehow.

Barcelona – Beggars are everywhere and anywhere you go in this world. I read somewhere that they have become the fourth world. If the poorer countries used to be called the third world before, the beggars, the urban poor, the scavengers, and the homeless comprise the fourth world.

Because their population is getting larger every year, some enterprising people especially in the city centers have started to see these poor people as milking cows. Every milking animal must come in various shapes, sizes and drama. They have become part of a mafia of some sort. At daybreak, they are distributed in conspicuous and strategic corners of the city. They beg the whole day. And at dusk, they are picked up and fed. Their earnings for the day are collected. At night, they are provided a place. Whether it is fit for human habitation, I no longer have any idea. But considering their status in life, they have to live the role. Day in and day out.

Most mafia, if we call them that, go for dramatics. A woman to earn more has to have a baby in her arms. The colder the weather, the more convincing the theatrics would be. A physically challenged man is also effective. Or maybe missing some limbs. Or no limbs at all. Independent vagrants go for the “robber victim” ploy. Still others just beg to buy themselves mugs of beer or packs of cigarettes.

I would rather give some coins to those who sing or perform than to those who sit and beg. I don’t know if you agree with me or not, well-built persons should never beg for that. It’s the government’s responsibility to give them jobs. But the government can only do so much. The individual, on the other hand, must do his share of educating and making himself productive. Begging should never be the first result to the uneducated or the physically challenged. No matter how great a performance can be, begging should never be an alternative.