A lesson in Human Value

my column printed in the Republican on 11/9/11

Last month there was a news story coming out of Philadelphia, Pennsvila that totally shocked me to my core. Apparently an apartment complex landlord had received complaints of noise and strange going ons in the basement. When the landlord investigated, he found dark rooms with noises coming from the boiler room, where he found four individuals, one of whom was chained to the boiler. The four individuals were found in weakened and malnourished condition. They were three men and one woman ranging from age 29 to 41 years old. All four were developmentally disabled with the mental capacity of a ten year old. They told the police that they had been held for several years in different areas such as Texas and Florida. They also suffered from both physical and emotional abuse.

The police have arrested one woman and two men for a variety of charges from kidnapping, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment to theft. During their investigation they determined the motive was to steal the four victims monthly social security benefits ranging from 600 to 900 hundred dollars. They also discovered that the women gave birth to two children while being held. The police also recovered social security cards, power of attorney forms and other documents bearing fifty different names. The four victims are being cared for at a state run facility where they have been reunited with their families.

We are all equal with the same rights that don’t vary or differctante from gender, sex, race, cultural or disability. Basic needs, rights and values govern our society. We are taught at a young age to love ourselves and our fellow citizen while living peacefully. We are also taught to be responsible in our actions. More importantly we must respect our selves and others regardless of differences. In other words we all unique beautiful individuals with gifts to offer.

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