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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 1st Nov 2011 at 10:59 PM Last edited by ChappyTamTam : 2nd Nov 2011 at 7:36 PM.
Default What would you do in this situation?
This came up as a debate on another site. I thought it was a random topic, but still pretty interesting and it was amusing to see everyone else's responses. Be honest --

Quote:
You have saved up for months to buy something - a laptop, a new bike, a car, whatever tickles your peach. As you're getting ready to buy it, a child runs by and snatches your money right from your hand. You chase him down and find out that his mother is deathly ill and the child stole the money to buy her medicine.

I'm going to be completely 100% honest here. I would take the money back. I know what you're thinking, "That's not very nice, you're cruel," etc but I worked hard for that money and it's mine. Also, he could be lying so he could keep the money for himself (not saying he is, but he could be, think about that).

Well, what would you do?

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Scholar
#2 Old 1st Nov 2011 at 11:14 PM
I would definitely be concerned that he was lying. It's not uncommon for children to learn that lying can get them things. Beyond that, it isn't right to steal, even if the situation is desperate, and it shouldn't be enforced that it's okay for him to steal "for a good cause" because he might just continue that behavior, justifying it to himself in other situations. There are organizations out there that try to help out families that struggle with the financial burden of chronic/terminal illness and they should attempt to go through those channels, should his mother truly be ill. You or I cannot be expected to shoulder that family's burdens; it is good to be charitable, but you have to take care of your own needs, too.
Theorist
#3 Old 1st Nov 2011 at 11:38 PM
I would find it very difficult to let him keep anything that he stole from anyone. It's just not a kind of behaviour I would encourage the kid to continue with. I might be back the next day though to check if there was anything I could do. I'm not rich, and money is something I work hard for. I could help them out otherwise, but not with money. They have to find someone who can afford it.
Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#4 Old 1st Nov 2011 at 11:45 PM
I wonder if perhaps by adding the element of lying you're misdirecting the question. It sounds to me like it's meant to be a moral dilemma - which is more worthy, a person buying something they want, but don't need, with their hard-earned cash? Or a person buying something they desperately need with dishonestly acquired, in this case stolen, money?

Assuming that, as I think is the intention, there is no way the kid is lying and their mother is definitely dying: I'd let him have it. There's sometimes a fine line between want and need, and if the money were too far onto that line I'd take it back, but really - giving up a holiday, or some nice hardware, or a show I wanted to see... big deal. There's always next time. Certainly, I have a better right to the money; but given that it's not going towards paying my rent or buying my food, fuck it.

And I'd like to think that if I were desperate enough to steal to save my mother, someone else would do the same for me.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Instructor
#5 Old 1st Nov 2011 at 11:46 PM
I'd want the money back regardless of the sick mom sob story. I'd go to the police. If you laid hands on the kid, chances are you'd get into trouble. I'd let the police decide if the story is true. If the kid is out stealing, who knows what else he may have stolen- or whether mom is even using what he is taking for meds. What if mom was a junky and the money kid stole to buy her 'medicine' etc.

Also, what if the kid stole from a feeble old person who also needed their money? Chances are if they steal from you, you aren't the first person the kid pickpocketed.

there are charities who will help out those in need. Children don't need to steal- plus... It would be for the kid's own safety. If the kid is out stealing, suppose he steals from someone who kicks the crap out of him. Also, Child protective services might need to be involved if the kid is really young, out unsupervised and committing crime.

Also companies can be appealed to if you write them and explain the situation.

So, based on just the sob story from the kid, no. I'd really need to know the facts.
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1st Nov 2011 at 11:57 PM
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Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#6 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 12:08 AM
Damn, you people are such realists.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 12:28 AM
The same-TAKE IT BACK.

And if I didn't, I would teaching that kid that stealing-no matter what the reason or means- is OK.

That's a no-no. I would hope for the lady's health but I need my money back kid.

Been downloading like crazy...so many great creators here! Neglecting forums...will be back soon...ish.
Scholar
#8 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:40 AM
I would want my money back.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:50 AM
I'd investigate further and find out what's going on with the family if possible. I was going to say it wouldn't happen here (UK) but I agree with Whiterider's analysis and response to a large extent (that this is a moral dilemma question) and so I think I can make an answer. If the situation was as bad as the kid painted it, I'd want to help - maybe not by letting them keep the money but perhaps buying the medicine for them and helping them get the help they need.

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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#10 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 2:54 AM
Thanks for the replies people. I was surfing through the other thread of the site I mentioned in the original post and here are the most common replies, not in order -

1. That's their problem, take the money back
2. I would have helped if they had asked, but I don't help thieves.
3. I'll give them some or half of the money to help out and buy the thing I want later.
4. Give them all the money.
5. Investigate further to see whether or not this story is true.
6. Refuse to give them any money but try to nurse the mother back to health
7. Buy the meds yourself/give the kid the money and try to nurse the mother back to health.

Anyway, keep your replies coming, I'd like to see them

How come Mario can smash through bricks, but he dies when he touches a freaking turtle..?
Forum Resident
#11 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 3:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChappyTamTam
2. I would have helped if they had asked, but I don't help thieves.


That's my answer.

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It's hear today and today will never come again
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Theorist
#12 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 8:35 AM
Huh. If the kid really needs some money, he could work hard as I had done.

Also, allowing him to keep stolen money would just encourage him to do the same thing in the future. The fact that it's stolen for (supposedly) someone else does not justify that he attempted a crime. He'll just think that he could use such excuses to steal and get away with it.
Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#13 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 9:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vhanster
Huh. If the kid really needs some money, he could work hard as I had done.
Really? We're saying this is a child, so the vast majority of work you or I would do would be impractical, illegal, or both. Of course, there are still things he could do; mostly, they pay a pittance. Then, let's not forget that if he's stealing to buy medicine, his family presumably can't afford a carer. So, someone has to stay home and nurse the mother. If it's just mum and kid, how do you suggest the kid fits money-making into that equation? And, of course, this point can apply to kids or adults.
What if the kid has been nursing his mum for so long that he's barely been to school, and can't read or write? What if he has health problems or disabilities of his own? What if the fact that he could have to rush home in an emergency at any time makes him unemployable? What if there are no jobs? What if he does work, and all his money ends up paying the bills with none left over for medicine?

I'm really fracking sick of this stupid, and apparently all-pervasive, view that everyone is able to do just as well as Alan Sugar has (or whoever), and that if they're not successful, they're not working hard enough. People are not born equal, and what equality there is in birth vanishes pretty damn quickly when you take into account the fact that the world you live in is not the world everyone else lives in. I challenge anyone with a good job, a nice house, affluent studies, or anything else indicative of success in this world to count all the external factors that helped them get there. Then ask yourself where you'd be if you'd had none of that. That's where many other people are.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
#14 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 10:05 AM
"You chase him down and find out that his mother is deathly ill and the child stole the money to buy her medicine."

Find out how? From him? From his mother? Do I get to ask to see her medical records to prove she's not lying? I would like to say, "Of course, young sir, scurry along and buy your mother her medicine at once!" but... people lie about this kind of stuff all the damn time, even when it doesn't gain them anything but attention. I had a coworker who claimed to have cancer - she shaved her head, started taking off work to "go to the doctor", and would call coworkers at all hours to bring her soup and come sit with her. When her story finally crumbled around her (as people who knew about that kinda stuff started asking questions - not out of suspicion but just concern) her answers were weird and she broke down and said she was doing it to cover for her shoplifting... She'd stolen -thousands- in merchandise from the store we both worked for. How having cancer covered for shoplifting (which we hadn't noticed anyway) I don't know.

I can understand the desperation of needing something for someone you care about, but not having it to give. When we didn't have health coverage and my boyfriend at the time got sick and needed loads of tests, I was terrified at how the hell we'd pay for it. I came -this- close to starting stripping in the evenings after my regular job, or standing out on the street corner with a sign begging for money. But I could never see snatching money out of someone else's hands for it - there's no way I could have told whether that money was for that person to buy themselves a shiny new gadget, or whether that was their last bit of cash that they needed for food/medicine themselves.

And, um, everything whiterider said - I wouldn't want to reward stealing either, but the idea that everyone has the same opportunities to work for what they want/need is just plain incorrect and there's a lot of times where it's not possible.
Scholar
#15 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 12:04 PM
Agree with HP. But if that happens, then I will : Investigate further, then if it's true, back to my house and ask my parents if they agree to help her, with my money too. It is what I think the best to do...

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Mad Poster
#16 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
But I could never see snatching money out of someone else's hands for it - there's no way I could have told whether that money was for that person to buy themselves a shiny new gadget, or whether that was their last bit of cash that they needed for food/medicine themselves.


This is so true. Stealing for a "noble" cause doesn't make stealing right. I rememebr a few years ago I lent money to a friend so she could pay for some courses and not only she did not return it when she said she would, in fact she never returned it at all, and I had bills to pay myself.

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Field Researcher
#17 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:49 PM
Totally circumventing the point, here, but I'd move to a country with a proper public health care system.

One S, two As.
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
#18 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:51 PM
If you don't have the money to pay for medicine, how exactly do you plan on paying for an international move (which often includes expensive visa application fees or paying for fresh copies of your documentation, extra fees for authentication services or translation, etc.)?
Field Researcher
#19 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 1:53 PM
You are right, of course, HP. I was just trying to be snotty and patriotic about my country of residence.

Also, "I" would be the person walking down the street with money in their hand. Presumably I'd have a greater degree of mobility.

One S, two As.
Top Secret Researcher
#20 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 3:02 PM
Slay the mother and child and crush their bones beneath my feet. Go out for tacos. Move somewhere with public health care as soon as possible.
Instructor
#21 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 3:57 PM
eh, pickpockets are known for being dishonest when caught though. they usually have a sob story lined up to explain why it needs to happen. I think if a kid is caught stealing he needs help. Child protective services needs to be involved. Perhaps if he is caught stealing, the upside would be the case gets some degree of public attention. Most people are charitable if asked.

I know if there was a proper documented case, or an article in the paper about the mum, and her situation, and the info was legitimately verified, people would donate. I just think people aren't going to give money based on the word of a thief who is caught red-handed.
Scholar
#22 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 5:15 PM
I live in Southern California, USA, I would NOT be walking around with money ANYWHERE! Secondly I wouldn't chase down the kid I'd dial 911 cause I am not taking chances of the kid carrying something sharp or fires. Though does not have to be Southern california, did you hear about the 10 year old in South Carolina who pulled a gun over candy. Little kids are becoming bigger sh!ts now day in age, congratulations if you can raise a decent being. Good kid or not, I want my money back. I worked hard I saved a long time for it, and she isn't the only dying person on this planet. It may sound cold but it's the truth. I'll donate to causes when I have extra money, but you know, not when I need or want something that I saved for. Chances if I saved it's for something I need not want, like a car (take the city bus for a few years you'll understand why a car turns into a need).

Disclaimer: I am just being a goof ball, please ignore me if offended.
Scholar
#23 Old 2nd Nov 2011 at 6:33 PM
Smack the child upside the head for stealing, while informing him or her that it was not the appropriate thing to do. While also informing him or her that what goes around comes around. Then I'll that the brat and his or her ill mother to the hospital to get checked up on, while calling the proper agencies.

Granted I come from a state that has a cradle to grave social welfare, where health care is free, and the government provides 'offshore' health care as well. That is to say if no one can heal you in the state then they find someone who can and pay them to do so. Germany is where they tend to send us.
Instructor
#24 Old 3rd Nov 2011 at 2:46 AM
If the kid was being truthful, If I had $1000....I'd let the kid have $500 of it.

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Test Subject
#25 Old 3rd Nov 2011 at 3:19 AM
Personally, I would ask the kid to show me proof. If he is truthfull, then I would probably help him out. Sure, i can get a new, laptop or whatever but most likely, that product become obselete in time.

Having a mother is a priceless thing.
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