Do you give money to strangers, or would you take it?

An entertainer decided to find out what would happen if he posed as someone begging but tried to give money TO people instead of asking them for money. Here’s the video that has already gathered millions of views and tens of thousands of comments.

Comments question whether putting people in a situation where they suspect something is wrong shows their true character, and reactions to how the last encounter was handled are mixed.

Regardless, the video does raise some questions about the culture of giving and the culture of expectation. Would you accept money from a stranger in a situation like this? Why or why not? Do you give money to strangers? Why or why not?

The practice of giving to people who ask for it on the street has prompted a lot of discussion. Some say that the financial support allows them to continue in an unhealthy lifestyle. Others say that giving is beneficial to both the giver and the receiver. Some people have rules about how and when they give. Others are more spontaneous, giving when they feel moved.

Here are some links to read more on the matter:

This piece in the Atlantic explains concerns about giving cash directly: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/03/should-you-give-money-to-homeless-people/72820/

This writer explains why he gives: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-give-money-to-homeless-people-2014-10

This blogger believes that your responsibility for what happens when you give money doesn’t end when it leaves your possession: http://thehomelessguy.blogspot.com/2013/08/should-people-give-money-to-panhandlers.html

Christianity Today tackled the issue from a Christian perspective: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/january/18.60.html

This site suggests ways to help people who are homeless: https://www.justgive.org/donations/help-homeless.jsp

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