Treating others with humanity and kindness has never been more important.
Treating others with kindness, dignity, and respect has never been more important than during this difficult time. A tweet from the Spanish National Police provides a fine example, revealing the importance of looking beyond the surface-level facts to try to understand the situations and needs of others.
🚨Un padre de familia sustrae 4 potitos en un supermercado de #Zaragoza. Es sorprendido y llaman📞a la @policia— Policía Nacional (@policia) June 8, 2020
El agente👮♂️ que acude, viendo la necesidad del hombre, paga la comida infantil y lo deja ir#MicrocuentosReales#FelizLunes#SomosTuPolicíahttps://t.co/VsZF1vgDsgpic.twitter.com/gUmfKr10H4
According to La Voz de Galicia, a man was detained in a supermarket in Zaragoza, Spain, after a security guard discovered him stealing four bottles of baby food. The local police were called to deal with the situation.
When the officers went to the scene, they interviewed the people involved and learned more about what had happened. The would-be thief was a husband and father, unemployed, and without food to feed his children. Faced with this heartbreaking situation, the police decided to let him take the baby food. In fact, they paid for it themselves.
In this case, the officers put themselves in the shoes of the guilty party, who was going through a horrible crisis. Thanks to their empathy and understanding, compassion prevailed; his transgression was forgiven and they helped him, despite his violation of the law.
Acting with love under such circumstances sends an important message: We may lose many things, but we should never lose our sense of humanity. Each one of us can do something to help people around us and our entire community.
In a society that has been devastated by the pandemic and the resulting economic problems for many families, these policemen acted with solidarity to improve the situation of a family. Gestures such as theirs help bring hope and inspire others to practice compassion as well.
The man who had turned to shoplifting out of desperation wasn’t only given the chance to fill his children’s basic needs; the policemen gave him back his humanity, something he’ll never forget. They recognized his right to be treated as a human being regardless of what he had done. He was a person who needed help, not acting out of malice, but out of need.
During this time when so many factors have combined to make life very difficult for many people, it’s important to reach out to those in need, those who have no recourse. All of us need to practice empathy, to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. We need to ensure that everyone feels that their humanity and their needs are recognized.
It also helps if we remember how often we ourselves have been helped during our lives, and remember that we were born with nothing. We all depend on other people to find our feet and to survive. Sometimes it’s our turn to receive, and other times, to give.
People can survive periods of financial hardship if they have resources and support from the people around them; isolation and abandonment affect us even more deeply. By reaching out in a way that respects and supports each person’s dignity and rights, we build a stronger social fabric and a more moral society. We will embody the teaching of Jesus, that we should love others as He loved us, giving of ourselves to those in need.