I finally found the footage for this story that I saw on CBC/The National last week.
CBC was doing this story on bike theft and how it’s way too easy and too big of a problem in Canadian cities these days. They basically set up a bait bike with a lock, and then waited to see if anybody would steal it. Turns out someone came and did steal it, and then they confronted him:
(See half-way mark; some profanity because it’s allowed on Canadian news)
I would like to point out a few things to you, the viewer/reader:
- Look how ashamed and guilty Kevin (the name of the guy who was stealing the bike) immediately was when he was confronted. He clearly expressed what most people fail to realize about themselves every day: the things we do are wrong, and there’s something… wrong with that.
- The reason Kevin ended up stealing bikes and selling them off for $20 each was because he’s addicted to heroin. Drug abuse (not the drug addicts themselves) are a scourge on our country. It must be fought so that people like Kevin have a chance.
- If you let yourself get numbed to the reality of broken lives and very real problems in our own city, you will end up like how the CBC journalist appears to be – largely unmoved by his encounter with Kevin. Not a hint of sympathy expressed to Kevin, not even a soft shot of him pausing his interview to comfort Kevin. Instead, he seems to be focussed only on things related to his original story’s angle (the prevalence of bike theft). I think it’s really easy for us to react the exact same way (i.e. not caring).
It should bother us that no one was able to comfort Kevin, and that no one brought him real hope.
This is where I challenge you, the reader, to stop and consider why you might be tempted to go on indifferently after glancing over this story. Do something to help people like Kevin; do something to fight the causes or effects of drug abuse. If you have no idea where to start, then your action might be simply to start thinking of where to start (here’s the first place to look, just off the top of my head – Union Gospel Mission).
And I do wish someone was able at that moment to give Kevin a big hug, validate his feelings of shame (I mean, that’s a legit feeling in that situation!), and to go a step further and tell him why shame isn’t the final word.