Compassion

I saw a video on YouTube about a woman who was given a ticket for parking on a sidewalk. The fine for the ticket amounted to $100. The woman did not pay the fine, and penalties accrued in the amount of another $200. She did not pay that, either, so she was summoned to court.


The judge, Frank Caprio of Providence, Rhode Island, saw that she was in court with her two children, a daughter of elementary school age and an infant. He asked the older child, Janiece, how she would decide the case and gave her three options:


1. Make her mother pay the entire $300 in fines and penalties.

2. Make her mother pay only the original $100 fine.

3. Reduce the fine to $50.


Janiece opted for reducing the fine to $50.


Judge Caprio did not end there. He asked Janiece what she had eaten for breakfast that morning, before coming to court. She replied that she had not eaten breakfast and was hungry.


At that point, Judge Caprio asked the defendant whether she would use the $50 to feed her children if he waived all fines and court costs. She agreed that she would, and the judge cancelled all penalties and freed the defendant.


Now, that is compassion. Judge Caprio’s ruling has won the hearts of many viewers of the video – just as McGarrett’s compassion won the hearts of many viewers of the original Hawaii Five-0. Of course, Jack’s personal sense of compassion greatly influenced his character’s sense of compassion.


What the world needs now, more than anything, is compassion.

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