The Choices We Make

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The Choices We Make

Poverty in the United States today has many faces. There’s the pleading face of a middle-aged man on a city street holding up a sign that says “Hungry, Need Help.” There’s the anxious face of a young child in a schoolroom somewhere, whose only real meal today will be a free school lunch. There’s the sad face of a single mother who doesn’t have enough money to buy clothes for her children. And there’s the frustrated face of a young man working at a minimum-wage job who can't afford to pay his rent. The sad thing is everyone knows someone like this. What are these people to do? What lengths should they go to be happy? Many times a person’s virtue is challenged. Especially when they are forced to choose between a basic human need or a particular ethical indiscretion. So the question is “What effects do poverty and the absence of opportunity have on individuals’ senses of virtue?” For one, a person who is poor may choose to steal to obtain a basic need such as food, shelter, or safety. Second, a person religion may be challenged when poor or in an extreme circumstance that may require a choice between following their way of believing or living. And finally, parent may do things and make sacrifices to make sure that their children are safe and cared for.

Society looks upon people who commit crimes as bad seeds in a community. But, has anyone ever really looked at the person and wondered “what could make this individual so desperate that they would risk everything to steal $50 bucks out of a cash register, or a loaf of bread from a quick stop.” Don’t get me wrong. Not everyone that steals has a good reason, nor is it right. But if you looked deep into the life of the individual, do you see them? Really see them. Most of the time these people are poor, come from broken homes and sometimes do what they have to too survive. They live in poverty stricken “ghettos” or in poor communities that have no resources to help...
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