Thursday, February 18, 2016

Of human kindness

Imagine being very hungry. I don't mean that feeling you get when you suddenly see a food commercial on tv or when you smell a fresh pizza or when you begin thinking about what to eat on your lunch hour. I'm talking about the feeling you must have when it has actually been DAYS since you ate anything. You have no money. You have no food. Hunger is very real. You aren't thinking about the soup kitchen that feeds you for free. You might not even know about it. You are just hungry - VERY hungry, and you happen to walk past a produce stand.
I'm sure you have heard people say "there are exceptions to the rule," but just what are those exceptions and when do they occur?  If that extremely hungry person with no money comes across a stand with fresh fruits and vegetables, is it wrong for him to steal an orange or two?  Should he be arrested for grabbing a tomato and eating it?  Perhaps he should say to the owner, "I am very hungry.  Could you give me some fruit?"  Then, having said that, how should the owner respond?  If you were shopping and you saw someone run up and snatch a fresh plum and take a bite out of it, what would you think?  Would human kindness guide you to offer to buy something for this man? 
Picture this in your mind for whatever kind of shopping experience you might have.  Hunger is very real and needy people can react in a variety of ways.  What should our response be?  Do we even care?

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