Help vs. Handcuffs

Poverty is a huge issue in the United States where, although we consider ourselves the richest nation on earth, many people go without having their basic needs met. Desperation sometimes pushes people to criminal activity. For example, when Florida Police Officer Vicki Thomas was called to handle a shoplifting incident she found Jessica Robles who tried to steal food from a grocery store in order to feed her children. Thomas decided to help Robles rather than simply punishing the mother. So, after charging Robles with a misdemeanor, the police officer took her grocery shopping. Share this article about Thomas’ noble deed with young adults and have a discussion about compassion:

  • How did you feel about the story? Do you think officer Thomas did the right thing? Why or why not?
  • How might we as individuals and as a society be more compassionate to others?
  • It’s easy to condemn a person for their actions when we aren’t in their situation. What are some ways that you can try to be more understanding toward others from different backgrounds or experiences?