Friday, October 1, 2010

Making the World Meaner

An unemployed Detroit-area mother has been charged with fraud after claiming that her son was dying of leukemia and shaving his head bald for several weeks so that she could accept donations for his treatment. Apparently, the mother went so far as to tell her son that he had leukemia, and crushing drugs into his apple sauce to give him a listless appearance in front of other people. She received $7,500 from a church fundraiser, along with some other donations and a gift of an XBox for her son.

There has to be a special place in hell for people who fake having cancer. On the one hand, it's an insult to every cancer survivor out there who has truly suffered and needed support in the past. On the other, it is incredibly manipulative and abusive to take advantage of the good will and generosity of other people and repay it with treachery.

Acts like this are part of what makes the world a meaner place to live. It causes cynicism and jadedness and makes people less likely to want to help each other. It causes peoples' faith in each other to erode and makes us want to close the door on the next person who comes looking for help.

People have a natural willingness to want to help each other and be charitable to those less fortunate. When this nature is abused often enough, people will give up rather than be taken for a fool again. And meanness can spread like butter and permeate other aspects of our lives, making us less charitable with our money, our time and ourselves.

People who are swindlers like this take humanity two steps back in its progress.

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