I am going to take a detour from relating this post to my books. I have a subject that I need to get off my chest. I was reading recently about ‘lunch thieves’ and how people dealt with them. Some of the things that I read were pretty inventive and definitely painful. The prevailing thought is that the thief deserves what they get, but there is a problem with that.
I’ll start by saying that I can’t abide and do not condone thievery. But at what point is it stealing? Bear with me. My daughter is currently fourteen years old with the mind of a four-year-old. She has a condition known as Prader-Willi Syndrome. Prader-Willi is a genetic defect and something that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
One of the characteristics of Prader-Willi is hunger. Many of those that suffer from the syndrome do not have that ‘off-switch’ in their brain that tells them when they are full, so they feel like they are hungry 100% of the time. I love my daughter very much, but we have to watch her like a hawk to make sure that she doesn’t constantly eat.
Now, I have a question for you. If my daughter went into your refrigerator and took some food, would she be stealing? Remember, she has the mind of a four-year-old and doesn’t understand the concept of food, any food, not being for everyone. She can’t really learn it, we’ve tried. She’s always hungry, always. Should you put cayenne pepper on the food to ‘teach her a lesson?’ How about Ex-lax in the place of chocolate?
My point is, there are times when you need to have compassion. Do you know every circumstance? I agree that in a standard workplace, no one should be stealing anyone’s lunch. But, there are a lot of places that employ the disabled, including the mentally handicapped, maybe even where you work.
Stealing is wrong. It shouldn’t be tolerated. But is it stealing if you don’t know that it’s stealing and can’t even understand the concept that taking food isn’t right because you feel like you’re starving?
Some of you are going to say it’s still stealing. I’m sure that some of you agree with the way the Nazis would have dealt with people like my daughter too. You aren’t the kind of people that I consider worth knowing, and I would prefer if you didn’t follow my blog.
For you others, those who understand the questions that I’m asking, thanks for at least taking the time to consider them. Sometimes we need to know when to use our hearts instead of our fists.