A mendicant is a person that, for spiritual reasons, has taken a vow of poverty and relies on begging to survive in the world. In some cultures, particularly in the Far East, mendicants are an accepted part of society. They are recognized as contributing to the spiritual elevation of the populace.
In the burgeoning spiritual communities of the Western world, I've noticed a similar attitude and approach: people who have read all the right material and think they've discovered the Holy Grail. They expect others to provide for them and render services for free, because the wendicant (my term for "Western mendicant") is doing something oh-so-important in the world. Ironically, many wendicants claim to hold the keys to abundance, yet they can't seem to use these keys to open their own doors.
Recently a man contacted me to ask if I would be interested in editing his book, which was intended to convey information regarding a conscious, spiritually aware approach to wellness. The topic is of interest to me, and I sent him information about my book-editing process, which requires a deposit from new clients. He responded by saying he didn't have the resources to pay a deposit, but that if I would do the work right away, he would compensate me three times over later on, presumably when his ethereal ship came in. He also sent his draft manuscript, with instructions that assumed I was going to start work on it immediately.
Given that I had no intention of working on it, I almost didn’t download the file, but curiosity prevailed. In my assessment, the material was not quite elementary but certainly wasn't advanced. It was not something I would have chosen to read on my own, but I could see that there was an audience for it and that I could have fine-tuned it into a nice ebook. I just wasn't going to do it for free. I emailed a polite reply:
"I understand your circumstances and hope we can work together at some point. Through my years of experience in this business, I have developed guidelines that work well for both me and my clients. The 'I'll pay when I have the money' approach has not worked well for anyone, for a variety of reasons. Please let me know when you have the resources available, and I'll be happy to participate in your project."
My guess was that the man would not respond at all, but he did – with personal insults and profanity. From there he progressed to accusing me of benefiting from his great wisdom without expressing appreciation for it, and then trying to induce guilt in me for not helping a person when asked.
Well, I think I'm doing something important in the world too! I've been on a spiritual path for most of my life, and after "stepping off the paved road" of a conventional, full-time job, there were times when I literally worried about having enough to eat. Not once did I go to a grocery store and request that I be given food for free, or at discount, because I was doing something so important and should be supported by others. I didn't apply for government assistance programs even when I qualified for them. I was aware that I took this path by choice.
The truth is that everyone is doing something important in the world! The endeavors of a wendicant are no more valuable than those of the "wage slaves" they so enjoy deriding. Now, everyone is on a spiritual path, whether they know it or not. The days of the mendicant are over.
Alexi Paulina's ebooks are available at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/alexi3