hunger and stealing

Hunger is such a thing which can destroy one’s good characteristics, honesty, and morality. In our society, lots of the people start to earn money in illegal ways because of poverty and hunger. There are lots of real life examples that people become thief or cheater when they don’t have any option. That time the sense of morality does not work.

As we are reading Vasant Moon’s autobiography Growing up Untouchable in India, we have noticed the same situation with Moon. Once Moon stole his friends color brush in school, but next day, he regretted for his misbehave and gave it back to him. Though he was poor to buy it, his inner morality abstain him from stealing. Then he present the days of extreme poverty of his family. There was no food and they starved. Her mother tried her best to do work and feed the family. Sometimes, community people helped them. Moreover, Moon also tried to earn money doing works. However, in chapter twelve “Holy Victory”, he said about his moral fall down. As those days they were passing a hard time with starvation, he was always thoughtful what to eat and how to get them. One day he cheated an old woman by taking her banana and running away. As he was so much hungry, he could not refrain himself to do that. Thus, he lost his moral education. However, when he heard her mother’s story of honesty, he was ashamed of his doing.

However, he did not tell her about his stealing as she would get hurt.

This reading reminded me something from my childhood. In my school, there were students from all social classes. Rich, poor, middle class, and even students from untouchable community read in our school. As the session was all day long, we used to take lunch with us. Moreover, we used to share our food with others. However, there were some students who did not bring anything and we did not share with them. It was summer season when we noticed that every day someone’s food was being stolen. We all became angry and annoyed with the unknown thief. We complained to the teacher, but his threat did not stop the thief. Consequently, one day the thief was caught and we all were surprised. The most silent and shy boy of the class was doing that! How strange! It was difficult to believe. Whatever, he was taken to the teacher and he punished him. After physical punishment, he was told to bring his parents to the school. Then the boy cried and said that he could not do that. When sir forced him to tell why it was not possible, he said that her mother is a housekeeper and she was not working someday because of illness. They were starving a long day and finally he could not bear the hunger seeing other students to eat. As a result, he started to eat secretly from their food. Hearing that, we felt so bad for him and regret for our selfishness. We told the teacher to forgive him. He also felt sorrow for him and forbade him to do so further. After that we tried to share our food with him, but he never took it. He smiled and thanked us only saying that her mother was ok and they were not starving any more. Though we were dubious about his words, we never could help him.

Friends, do you think Moon or that boy’s stealing was reasonable?


2 Responses to hunger and stealing

  1. phamtram says:

    Dear friend,
    That boy’s situation is pathetic. However, it would have been better if he had talked to teachers and asked for their help. I think that he was not wrong, but it wasn’t good right?

  2. Masooma says:

    Dear Urmy,
    I understand how sometimes poverty, especially extreme hunger, can force people to do things that sound immoral. With adults the case is different, because they are well aware of distinction between wrong and right most of the times. Therefore, they are considered responsible for their action. However, judging children’s behavior is more complicated. Despite the fact that most of the times they also know what is right or wrong to do, they might committee a sinful action because it might be the most simplest or easiest method for achieving one’s goals. So if children do something wrong, they shouldn’t be blamed immediately. Rather, elders should think of the reasons why a child with his innocent heart decides to choose the immoral way. These children should be clarified how ugly their choice has been, but they should be treated as a human being in process of learning the life.

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