if it harm none

In church today some one shared this philosophy. "If it harm none, do what you will." A sort of live and let live type of thing. A follow up question that was asked was...."what is harm?" The definition varies by person and culture. That statement lead to a discussion in which the following question was posed..."You walk out of McDonald's after purchasing a two for one burger deal. You pass a homeless person who is begging on the street. What do you do? Do you give him a burger? Do you give him money? If you gave him the burger or money is that action harmful?

One lady said that she wouldn't give anything to the man. When asked why (One could argue that giving him something rather than teaching him something is harmful (you know the old adage teach a man to fish....) she said that there were agencies to handle that sort of thing and that the homeless man should go through the proper channels to receive aid.

Her answer floored me. It was almost a laughable statement... but she was dead serious. How could a person be so remove from other human beings? I should have asked her if she would have been willing to drive him down to the nearest shelter or would she have given him a dollar for the bus, or maybe she thinks he should just walk.

I was totally disgusted by her statement. We need to be more active in each other's lives. We need to take responsibility when other's won't. By turning a blind eye and saying that it is someone else's problem we allow abuse to continue, corruption to thrive and people (and animals) to suffer.

1 comment:

Julia Stewart said...


If a Labrador was sitting on the corner at St. Mark's Place with a Greek Bodego Coffee cup in front of his card-board shanty.... I would be the first cuddle the pup in to my stretch Mercedes to the nearest Lab-rights institute. Humans on the other hand ---- "the lord rewards those who reward themselves..." (indirect quote of an 'indirect' source, i.e., the dark side of the ying/yang cannot be filled with nothingness!!!)