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Seeking Ethical/Social Input
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I went to Starbuck's this morning for my caffeine fix.

In front of me were a man and his two children, 4 (a girl) and 18 months (a boy). In addition to getting beverages for all of them, they were there to buy Mommy a Starbuck's coffee cup, plastic.

Dad helped the little girl to pick out a nice cup, which he gave to the baby to hold. Of course the baby waved it around and dropped it. The whole lip cracked, shattered.

Daddy called the little girl over, showed her the broken lip and said it was no good now and showed her where the trash bin was to throw it away. He then had her select another one for Mommy.

His lesson to his little girl: if you break it, you don't have to pay for it. Just throw it away.

I should have said something, I guess, but I didn't. The people behind me (who were vocal enough about my G*E*E*K tee shirt) said nothing, either. I guess I thought he clearly had made a conscious decision both to exercise his own sense of right and wrong and to teach it to his children. If I interfered, all I'd have done would have been to cause a ruckus and he still wouldn't have paid for it. However, his daughter might have learned something....

It wasn't cowardice on my part. I've made my views known for many years, on a personal level and in group demonstrations, voting and protesting. It is now more like a type of exhaustion. You fight the good fight for fifty years, and you see the whole country go down the toilet. Is it worth it to expend more of your energy on a lost cause? (By the way, I myself always offer to pay for something I've broken or spilled.)

What do you think? Would you have spoken up? Do you still keep the faith that people are basically good and will do the right thing if they know the right thing to do (as Plato proposed)?

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