If someone takes your shirt give him your coat

In a real-life example of the biblical admonition, “If someone takes your shirt give him your coat” (Matthew 5:40), here is a story of a man who befriended his mugger.

Julio Diaz, a social worker, was robbed at knifepoint by a teenaged mugger in the Bronx. Instead of getting angry or scared, he offered the kid his coat, and struck up a friendship:

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

The robber looked at his would-be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. “He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?'”

Diaz replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.

Read the whole story on on NPR. Via Boing Boing.

This is a recurring theme, as shown in this Zen story:

The master Ryokan lived in a poor little hut on a mountainside. One moonlight night he came home and found a burglar looking for something to steal. But Ryokan was a hermit who owned nothing.

“Poor fellow,” he said to the robber. “You have come a long way and have found nothing. But I don’t want you to leave me empty-handed. Please take my clothes.” And Ryokan stripped, and handed the clothes to the robber.

“Poor fellow,” said naked Ryokan, going outdoors again when the inconsiderate robber had left, “How I wish I could have given him this wonderful moon.”

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