One kind shop owner decided to take a very different path when he saw a teenager shoplifting at his store.

Cedric Bishop was shopping at a 7-Eleven in Toledo, Ohio, when he saw something astonishing.

Store owner Jitendra “Jay” Singh caught a teen attempting to steal snacks from the store.

“Do you want me to call the cops or will you take it out?,” Singh said in 2019, according to WTVG.

But the teen’s response shocked Singh.

He was stealing for his younger brother

“He said, ‘I’m stealing for myself. I’m hungry, and I’m doing it for my younger brother,'” said Singh.

Instead of calling the police, Singh invited the teen to take pizza, sandwiches, and other free food instead of the unhealthy snacks he’d stolen.

“It’s not going to make any difference to me if I give him some food because we make a lot of food, we sell a lot of food,” Singh told the news.

If he goes to jail then he’s definitely not going to do anything good in life.

Jay Singh

A truly kind man

Having witnessed the incident, Bishop posted about it on Facebook and the story went viral.

“He has a big heart,” Bishop told WTVG. “He has a great, big heart.”

I thought that was just beautiful because the young man could have had a record.

Cedric Bishop

Singh’s kindness was a surprise to many, but not his wife of 30 years, Neera Singh.

“I’m really proud of him and it is the true self of himself,” she said. “I know him, he’s very kind.”

“We are part of the community, and we have to help the community,” she added. “It is a part of our job.”

Incredibly, Jay said if the teen can legally work, he’s willing to offer him a job in his store.

Choose compassion

The shop owner could have called the police—it’s his right and that’s what the police are for.

Instead of turning a deaf ear to the teens problem, he chose compassion by helping him. Because of this, the teenager’s life will not be tainted with a jail sentence. For that, he is a hero and we’d certainly live in a better society if the justice system showed the same level of compassion for all non-violent crimes.

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“Compassion is to look beyond our own pain and see the pain of others.” – Yasmin Mogahed