Saturday, 23 August 2014

Would You Steal a Sleeping Bag From a Homeless Person?

Why do some of the cleverest people lack social intelligence and, more importantly, empathy? They solve complicated mathematical problems and find unique solutions to non-traditional quests, but one thing a lot of them is missing is empathy. Empathy makes us feel what other people are feeling, it makes us care for them and help when help is most needed.
A sleeping bag
A sleeping bag

This story is a true story with only the name of the person replaced. Everything else is factually accurate.

Max is a young lad, in his early thirties, with a PhD in a highly mathematical discipline. Being very smart, he works in the city earning a descent wage and leading a luxurious lifestyle. There is nothing missing in his life except for the above-mentioned human quality - empathy.

One day Max stayed out late after work having a few drinks, visiting some of the local night clubs and having fun just like a lot of young lads would do. When he realised that the tubes had stopped running and the only way to get home was a cab, he decided to go for an alternative solution.

A homeless person
A tramp sleeping in the street (artificially produced picture)
In his razor sharp Armani suit, Max found a tramp and offered the homeless person to buy his sleeping bag for £10. After a bit of negotiation, the tramp gave away the bag, obviously, thinking that the city boy was only joking and the sleeping bag was going to be returned to the original owner. Sadly, Max had different ideas. The warm covers were required for his overnight stay under the blue sky. It was freezing, so the suited man grabbed the bag and ran away. The tramp followed him shouting and screaming, demanding to give his bag back. Academically clever Max was also very good at climbing. Having some of the Spiderman's abilities he quickly crawled up some pipes on to the roof of some old building where he made his bed and slept through the night. The homeless man was throwing empty cans of beer and everything else that he could find handy, but eventually he gave up.

The sleeping bag was dumped somewhere the next morning and every Max's friend heard of his heroic deed on the previous night. After condemnation by almost everyone, the city boy decided to talk to another tramp and ask for his opinion: "So what do you think, on the scale between 0 and 10, how bad was my behaviour?"…

What do YOU think of Max's act? Was it a fair trade or pure ignorance?