Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PARDON MY SKEPTICISM

Two emotional stories are in the news on Facebook today.  

One is about a young lady from Guthrie,Oklahoma who had her wallet stolen in the grocery store.  She approached the thief and offered him two alternatives.  He could quietly return her billfold and she would buy his groceries or she would call the police.  He took the free food offer and shared his very sad hard luck story with the young girl.

The second story is about a Miami-Dade county sheriff officer who arrested a young mother for stealing groceries, listened to her hard luck tale and saw the woman's starving kids.  She let the mother go and bought her $100 of groceries instead.  The story got out and people donated more money to the thief plus they gave her a job.

Is this the United States of America in the 21st century and not dust bowl times or some third world country.  What town does not have a place where our homeless or those in need can go for help.  What church would ever turn away people in need and what about organizations like the Salvation Army? Plus we do have this thing called Welfare that provides especially for single moms with children.

Tell me what justifies a person stealing and why would we want to assist them breaking the law and be applauded for it?  

(And yes I have been at poverty level with two small children and on government assistance.  And yes, I have had a gun placed to my head by a gun crazed robber who said, when captured, that he was needing to buy Christmas presents for his children.)

20 comments:

  1. I love Facebook for keeping up with family and friends, but I hate all the schmaltzy, cheesy stuff that gets posted, not to mention the outright fabrications. I agree that dishonesty shouldn't be rewarded, but maybe if these stories are true, the persons involved turned their lives around. I hope so.

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  2. Susan Adcox
    These were posted from newspaper articles with photos. I have to assume they are true. I also have to wonder how the news got the stories. Many times people who are poor and not qualifying for Welfare are people who have been convicted of felonies.

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  3. There was a news report in the Atlanta news recently in which a victim of iPhone snatching chased down the young thief and got his phone back. The young thief didn't have any way of knowing his victim was a marathon runner and didn't get winded as easily as a phone snatcher. :) The human interest story with this one was that the "victim" wants to help the young thief turn his life around, so he can make something of himself. I'd be interesting in seeing how that goes. Well, I hope.

    I guess this isn't quite the same as being rewarded, but I hope it turns out to be a reward of sorts anyway.

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  4. Every community has among them those who will test the limits of society to see what they can get for free. "Why pay or work for it when there is a government handout available or one from a church a petty theft that will do the same." Yes there should always be prosecution. But with nearly half of society on the public dole, (And rising fast)working for what you get is a pretty hard lesson to teach.

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  5. Sorry, I guess I thought my comment was so good I posted it twice.

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  6. What a world. More and more, I can't fathom why people do what they do. It's not how I was raised. I don't know how others were raised and maybe their improper raising is the problem. I don't know.

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  7. Well, those are interesting stories, nevertheless.

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  8. While the stories are feel-good and uplifting, the news organizations are selective in what they report. We are getting close to the holidays and I think the editors are consciously or subconsciously selecting these types of news stories. I have never been poor enough to have to approach a church or government agency for help, but I certainly do not think robbing would be my primary choice.

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  9. I agree with you Annie.

    rewarding Misbehavior in any way makes for more Misbehavior..

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  10. I am with Tabor, but then, it is is possible that the actions of the victim can really help the perp to turn his life around. I hope so.

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  11. I cannot understand why people have to steel or shop lift even. I don't think people should be rewarded for doing something against law. I saw that lady in the television news and she clearly did not look like she needed help. If she did not use all that money on her make up, may be she would have had some to buy food, rather than shop lift. Again, what goes on in human mind is mysterious. Who knows who will get prompted to do bad things and when. I am with Tabor, when it comes to paying attention to any kind of media news. Heart warming and or alarming stories catch the viewers attention and hence keep him grounded to the television room and number of viewers increase and therefore ratings. Some of them are encouraging like that of the homeless man who found a bag full of money and turned it in and then people rewarded him for his honesty.
    Being rewarded for doing a wrong thing no matter how destitute is out of my senses. Again, who knows what kind of time and situation we all will ever be.

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  12. Too often - in this country - robbery goes with violence and the old and defenceless are the targets.

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  13. I'm getting more skeptical...

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  14. Well, I'm glad that these people had it in their hearts to do what Jesus would have done. I don't know that it would have occurred to me.

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  15. Lynn
    I believe in helping people turn their lives around but I also believe in “consequences for actions” and not rewards. Prison ministry does its part to rehabilitate while the criminal is taking their punishment.

    Cliff
    It was a good comment and worthy of posting twice:)

    cube
    I believe the basis for stealing and other crime increases these days is drugs.

    gigihawaii
    Interesting for sure.

    Tabor
    Neither story made me feel good or lifted me up. I could not help but believe the do-gooders were looking for publicity and they got it.

    Sonny
    You said it.

    Munir
    I went back and looked at the picture of the woman. You are right, she seemed to have money for makeup. I might have felt more sympathy if they had shown the kids. That woman did not need to steal.

    Pat
    To me a person who would take something that does not belong to them would also do harm or take a life. I fear thieves as much as I fear persons who commit assaults.

    ancient one
    And isn't it awful?

    Riot Kitty
    Like Jesus, I can forgive. But like the thieves on the crosses next to Jesus, they still had to take their punishment.

    To all of you
    This may have been one of those “when in doubt, don't” posts, but it caught my attention and I was curious about your feelings on the subject. Thanks for commenting.

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  16. I get a lot of these stories FORWARDED to me and I've learned to take them all with a grain of salt. I can just imagine someone making up stories and then sending them out to be forwarded on line to everybody. Eventually, they will appear to be fact. This is why Snopes is so important. Sigh... I'm sorry, but I've gotten to be pretty skeptical these days.

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  17. I don't like to be too judgmental because I don't know other people's stories, but I would not be surprised if these sob stories get played out by the same individuals more than once. Skeptical? So be it.

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  18. I hope they were true stories. I don't use Facebook so I don't know if people are linking to actual stories or just writing tales for attention.

    Stealing because you're starving? I guess that would be the best reason you could have...but not having a place to go to for help...that is so sad.

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  19. Sometimes people fall through the cracks because sadly enough, they don't know how to game the system. They play by the rules and eventually get screwed over because they can't jump through the infinite number of hoops to take advantage of the state and federal programs that are out there for those who genuinely need it.

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  20. Kay
    I am pretty sure these stories are true because they showed photos and named names and locations.

    Olga
    You said the main thing I should have considered and that is “not to be judgmental”. I wish I could just take the world at face value and don't know why I am such a skeptic. You are also right betting the stories will play out more than once.

    Talon
    They are true stories and I cannot help but believe they were more rewarding for the givers than for the takers. Oops, there is my skepticism again.

    G.B. Miller
    I guess gaming the system is what it is all about. It is not an easy process to apply for government assistance. However it is so hard for me to believe that any person desperate for food and shelter does not know to knock on the door of a church, synagogue, temple or mosque and request assistance. I have never heard of anyone being turned away and that looks like a much better path to walk than stealing.

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