THE EDITOR, Sir:
My daughter, who is on a short visit home to Jamaica, came home visibly upset on Sunday, March 10.
Waiting in line for the Devon Road/Hope Road traffic lights to change, she saw a destitute man approach an extremely expensive SUV. The occupants of the SUV ignored him until the lights changed, at which point an occupant rolled the window down a fraction, hurled a handful of coins on to the roadway, and the vehicle sped away.
My daughter says she will find it hard to forget the look of desperation on the beggar's face as he dodged in and out of the now-moving line of vehicles, trying to pick up the coins which had rolled all over the roadway.
I suppose many of us would say that we owe nothing to the destitute, but I like to think that treating another human with utter disrespect and disdain purely because of a difference in the ownership of material goods is noted on the distaff side in whatever ledger our life story is being recorded.
To quote political theorist Noam Chomsky, "Maybe the most elementary of moral principles is that of universality, that is, if something's right for me, it's right for you; if it's wrong for you, it's wrong for me. Any moral code that is even worth looking at has that at its core somehow."