The begging is difficult. You can't really walk down our street without it happening. It's incredibly hard to tell another human that you will not help them, even when we know that our 10 or 20 rupee note is probably not going to them anyway, but rather to become a part of the deceptive web of professional begging that we've learned is so vital on Sudder Street. We know further that even if it were going to the beggars themselves, we probably wouldn't be able to actually fix any of Sudder Street's beggars' lives with our contributions. We know that to survive humans have to advocate for themselves beyond begging (i.e. get to a shelter, utilize aid agencies, etc), but even knowing makes it a tough interaction. You almost can't help but be wildly tempted to pull out your wallet when a small boy, holding his small brother, follows you for three blocks saying, "Aunty, baby want milk, milk for baby, Aunty, milk baby." I turn the corner to the Astoria with tears welling in my eyes that I can't let him see. I think to myself, "I thought you had figured out how to rationalize this, I thought you had separated your head and your heart for these interactions and could stand by what you know." I am ashamed of myself and of the world - my world - the world of the white conqueror, the microwave and the free market; which created this type of scene. It's worse because the disappointment in his eyes makes me feel like even though he is very young, he already understands the sad reality of his life. He doesn't want to be doing this, either. And he knows what we both know, that neither of us have figured out yet how to make it better.