Dear So broke,
Auntie doesn’t know “beggar etiquette” either, but it’s pleasing to find a fellow giver out there. But that’s enough of the liberal hand-wringing. AUNTIE demands ACTION. First things first: screw those selfish Daily Mail-reading bastard commuters on your train. That Roma woman (complete with child in face) is a bloody human being for God’s sake; only she’s homeless and destitute in a strange, unwelcoming country and needs our help.
Whether you give her money or not, at least try and talk to her and find out her situation. You might think of carrying a handy contact list of refugee groups for her to get in touch with. By treating beggars with respect, you”ll make those around you feel guilty and maybe, just maybe, shame them into being a bit nicer.
But Auntie doesn’t buy the “can’t afford to give money to everyone” line. That sounds like “beggar fatigue”, a well-known mean-spirited condition suffered by backpackers in poor countries. Think how many one-, two- and five-pence coins are down the back of your sofa. Auntie sub-commands you to fill your pockets and give generously.