A 68-year-old woman was terminated after trying to stop thieves from walking out the door.

Things don’t always work out the way we hope, and sometimes life can take an unfair turn.

A Lowe’s employee in Georgia was reminded of that this past summer when her work fired her for trying to stop a trio of shoplifters.

A Routine Day at Work

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Sixty-eight-year-old Donna Hansbrough had been a loyal Lowe’s employee for 13 years when she finally had enough of the shoplifting taking place around her. So, when three people tried to walk out with more than $2,000 worth of merchandise last July, Hansbrough decided to do something about it, reports Fox News.

Rather than following company policy and letting the trio walk out with their loot, Hansbrough chased them and grabbed onto the cart.

“The guy decided he wanted me to let go, so he punched me,” she recalled to the outlet. “I grabbed my glasses, still held onto the cart, and he punched me again and again.”

Not only did the woman receive a black eye for her efforts, but later, her work handed her a pink slip.

“It’s not my fault, but I feel bad at the same time … I don’t know … I’m emotionally mixed,” she added.

A Community Responds

During the interview with Fox News, Hansbrough teared up and reiterated how much the job had meant to her.

“I love my job … loved my job. I enjoyed working with the people I work with, I enjoyed helping the customers, I enjoyed everything about it,” she said with tears in her eyes. “You know you have your perfect job; that one was mine.”

Her pure sentiments, coupled with the fact that she had tried to do the right thing, inspired others to speak out on her behalf. The hosts of the news show debated whether she should have been fired in this situation. Commenters hopped online to share their thoughts. And many people threatened to never shop at Lowe’s again.

“The thing that absolutely slays me about this is listening to her talk about how much she loved her job and how much purpose it gave her,” Fox News host Charlie Hurt said. “It really does sort of come down to are you going to side with workers or criminals?”

Getting Her Job Back

Very shortly after the news story broke, Lowe’s upper management responded. They reviewed the case and, in a statement to the Effingham Herald, revealed that they had offered Hansbrough her job back.

“After senior management became aware of the incident and spoke to Donna Hansbrough today, we are reinstating her job, and we are pleased that she has accepted the offer to return to Lowe’s,” spokesperson Larry Costello said.

“First and foremost, there’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers and associates. Products can be replaced; people cannot. We continue to work closely with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for this theft and violent attack.”

People Over Things

This story reminds us of the strength of community and how powerful we can be when we come together to make our voices heard. Hansbrough’s termination for trying to stop people from stealing seemed harsh, but after so many people spoke out, Lowe’s tried to fix the situation by bringing her back on.

However, this story also reminds us that sometimes, there are battles not worth fighting. The reason Lowe’s has a policy to let shoplifters go is that it doesn’t want its employees getting hurt in the first place. Things can be replaced, but people cannot.

It’s something to keep in the back of our heads the next time we value things over people. That could apply to all kinds of situations: working overtime for more money instead of spending time with a loved one, interfering in a situation that puts our physical health at risk, or remaining in a situation that’s bad for our mental health.

At the end of the day, there is no dress rehearsal. This is our life, and sometimes, in order to make the most of it, it comes down to choosing the battles we are willing to fight.