Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Prince Harry of Wales to Receive 2nd Holy Beggar Award!

It's Nobel Prize season, but your Holy Beggar is not interested in headlines, rather she wishes to give recognition when it's due.

She is deeply impressed by the stamina and personal conviction of Prince Harry of Wales, QEII's grandson, for his courage and clarity in support of wounded military troops who have suffered life-challenging wounds as a result of battle. He'll be walking 1000 miles across Britain with 6 others with a bucket to accept donations from folks along the way.

From the Telegraph:

"He praised the members of the public who've been putting hard-earned money in the donation buckets as the marchers make their way around Britain. 

"The support has been amazing,” he said. “People come out to give money and then when they hear what it's for they put another £20 in."
More here.

 A tip of the Beggar's Bowl to you, Harry.

Remember ... 
No matter what,
Don't forget to ask for the money!

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Part 1: What to Do When Approaching a Mogol/Mogul

The premise of this blog is, of course, that throughout time and space, every culture has witnessed the presence of a Holy Beggar. Whether individuals or institutions, the beggar is the "canary" in a socio-economic context.

I have introduced you to my begging buddies who provide this function within the context of their cultural milieu.

Now, I'm going to tell you about two situations that will indicate how complex it is to work outside one's own cultural contexts and across generations.

I am immediately reminded of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the first story, or so says the author, Mark Twain, about time travel in human culture

Young Chinese American Storyteller at a (Predominantly) Jewish Community Memorial  

The first example presented here is based on an occurrence last week at the yahrtzeit (Yiddish: lit. "time of year", annual memorial) of the beloved Theodore Bikel held by family and friends, and accessible (as was dear Theo) to all. The venue was the great community center hall (former Sinai Temple synagogue) of Craig Taubman's multi-cultural but Jewish-inspired Pico Union Project (PUP) ain the Pico/Union section of LA.

The event was not targeted to be "sponsored by" or even to "officially" benefit  anything or one else, but it was mentioned in the midst of some reverential comments that if people wanted to make a donation to Mazon, the Jewish organization that addresses hunger throughout the USA, there were some envelopes on the pews. Nothing more was said about it from the stage for 2 hours.

Toward the end of a very hamish (Yiddish: NOT like "ham" but more like that sweet fellow "Haim") gathering of folks in the folk music community, a few in film and TV, some lefties and an even fewer heads of Jewish community organizations, Peter Yarrow sang songs about hope and inclusiveness of immigrants. He invoked the melting-pot-ness (Bikel didn't believe in it) of our current political dilemma. Folks on the bimah (Hebrew: stage) were taking turns doing solos, and we all joined in on the choruses. Try and stop us!

In the sweet Kum-ba-Yah-nis of the moment, a younger fellow with an Asian face pokes his head through the crowd on stage, takes the mike, and introduces himself as Jason Chu, the PUP Storyteller. "I'm a Chinese kid from Delaware who didn't know Theodore Bikel, but I am moved by what I'm experiencing here today. He spoke first quietly through the humming that honored his words and remained at this level, suggesting "let's all get together, and do what's right", etc.And then ...

Kapow! Nothing.

My friend Linda and I, both of us who have rattled the begging bowls in our professional lives, simultaneously turned to each other and, in astonished soto voce said, "He didn't ask for money! He had 'em!"

As the formal program ended, with people chatting and leaving their seats, one woman strained her voice to be heard ... "If you have those Mazon envelopes, please give them to ..." and named a few people, none of whom were necessarily stationed in a specific spot.

Linda and I were invited to join the Pals-O-Theo as they adjourned to the social hall for refreshments, where we found Jason and brought to his attention this observation. I asked him if he could hear the silence, the anticipation, the power of his voice? "These folks expect / want to give. Jewish people give at times like these."

He said that it was never his intention to ask for money. We explained the missed opportunity, especially since MAZON was mentioned previously. He didn't have to bring it up out of the cold. I plan to meet Jason at another time to discuss this further. He can turn his story-telling prowess into fund raising and to develop philanthropic contributions for PUP.

The great fundraisers are all story-tellers, much as are lawyers. It is at the heart of a great persuasive "argument" ... the difference is that the intention to wield the power is clearly to channel / convert the listener's cache of emotions toward taking some specific action.

In Compelling Conversations for Fundraisiers, authors Laurie Selik and Janet Levine call this the "pivot". In skiing, it's what one must do when approaching a mogul (a bump/hill of snow, usually found in a series, caused by many people skiing in the same area). I call it Hooo-pA! It is impossible to ski through the gullies on those long boards. So, when you're at the top of the bump, while the view may be lovely, for the sake of need to get down the mountain, take the opportunity at hand (actually, foot!) to make a turn, or slow down, or other adjustment. This is a truly powerful place to be if one uses it correctly!

To you, beloveds of The Holy Beggar, please do not forget to pay attention, and.

No matter what ...
Don't forget to 

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Kudos (and a shake of the begging bowl!) to my colleague Laurie Selik and her co-author, Janet Levine, for their "Compelling Conversations for Fund Raisers, one of a series of compelling guides to conversation from Chimayo Press (Los Angeles). They are here to help Holy Beggars "Talk Your Way to Success with Donors and Funders".

The street-side HB doesn't have much time to engage potential donors, about a minute or two while the light is red. You need to meet the donor at his/her terms. If you stand in Beverly Hills (can anyone?), be prepared to take credit cards. If you are near a bank or ATM, have change for a $20.

As discussed, a sign helps a lot, but don't forget to make sure it's right-side-up, facing the windshield. And for goodness sake, make sure your Slurpee cup is empty with the lid off before you offer it as a receptacle.

If you can get to them to the "I'll think about it" stage ... make sure you're at the same spot, the same time tomorrow. Remind them of their kind consideration.

Laurie and Janet provide helpful scenarios for the more managed encounter, looking more toward significant gifts, as well as "planned" gifts. The latter could include appreciated property (such as the Mercedes our street-side donor is driving) as well as life insurance. (Given the way drivers behave in Los Angeles, a HB might do well to take out a policy on a driver his/herself and some day, just some day ... )

Seriously (I was being that!), theirs is a workbook ...

Remember the HB's motto ...

No matter what ...
Don't forget to 
Ask for the Money!

Got Your Hand Out?

Your humble Holy Beggar wishes to demonstrate one of the ways she has been trying to make a living by not directly begging for another entity: ghost writing. 

Yes, I've sold my words so that they come out of another's "mouth". Shame on them.

Here's something I wrote for a translation company ... another person is attributed as the author. Anonymous would have been better.

Since the beginning of time: 2161, or at minimum, over 40 Earth years ago when Gene Roddenberry launched the Star Trek enterprise, the crafty creators of races and galaxies, technologies and tools have been hard at work to transform everyday Earthlings into a Trekkies worthy of citizenship in the United Federation of Planets.

The Star Trek franchise builders have not been content to merely dabble in pop culture and fantasy storytelling. Now over 40 million human fans world-wide have access to powerful tools to cross the media threshold and interact with other weekend wanna-be warriors by learning to speak and read the Klingon language.

The master-mind (and mouth) of the Klingon language is linguist Dr. Marc Okrand, author of Conversational Klingon, the definitive audio book, the Klingon Dictionary, among others. A specialist in an extinct language of a people of Northern California, Okrand was making a living over-dubbing and subtitling for the film industry when he was brought into the Star Trek picture, literally. His first task was to create just four lines of otherwise non-extant Vulcan in post- production of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan to match the actor’s English language lip movements as an over-dub.

Brought back to work on Star Trek III The Search for Spock, this time in the scriptwriting phase, he decided to formally create an entire new language from scratch, complete with grammar and vocabulary as well as an inventory of sounds, Klingon at once needed to reference the history and current world view of the inhabitants of that distant galaxy. No detail was overlooked.

Since then, new stories and new characters have been blending into those earlier “realities”, necessitating the development of Klingon’s greater linguistic complexity. Klingon further morphed as fans began try to speak and write it in
their ordinary, 21st Century Earth-bound lives. There are also lexicons and grammars created by fans, such as the online program “battle tested” at the Klingon Language Institute that has attracted many adherents and many efforts to compile English – Klingon dictionaries.

While Microsoft’s Bing search engine identifies 1,060,000 entries for “translate Klingon”, now, in cooperation with Paramount and the Klingon Language Institute, Bing offers written translation from many languages into both the “original” Klingon script as well as Roman and Hindu-Arabic characters. It seems that Bill Gates’ team has been considering how to do this for a long time, and released it in time for the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness. There are no coincidences!
While we at Acclaro have yet to receive a request for translation into Klingon, we salute the Trekkies who have delved into learning the language for themselves. To you, we say majQa’…well done!

 Dearest Holy Beggars by Any (or No) Names,

No matter what ...
Don't Forget to 
Ask for the Money