I just learned that our married son’s house was broken into. Two computers and other electronics were taken along with some jewelry. Having survived several burglaries when Jim and I were newly marrieds, I know how upsetting this can be. Even if you have insurance, it’s a hassle to replace things and some items are irreplaceable because of sentimental value.

After calming down from the shock and anger, I started to think about how much harder it is to have things stolen than to choose to give them away. It’s like losing something, but worse. Although my altruistic side admires the Bishop in Les Mis who accepts the burglar as a person in need and doesn’t press charges, still my practical side is angry and figures if it were me, I’d at least want to count the experience as equal to giving away a couple month’s stuff. Certainly the cost to my son would probably be more than all the things I’m giving away all year. Yes, our society is on hard economic times, but how should we respond to people who really need the basics of life? Who knows the circumstances of this particular robber, but it makes one think.