I was in an Augusta supermarket recently, choosing and bagging green beans, when I heard the cutest little voice excitedly say, “Ooh, string beans!”

I turned to see a young mother with her beautiful blonde daughter in one of those fancy shopping carts the children can “drive.” I moved aside so the woman could check out the green beans. She reached in front of me and selected one perfect green bean, handed it to her daughter, and then walked away.

I stood there in stunned silence, missing a teaching moment for both mother and daughter. What I didn’t say then, but wish I had, was: “Taking something that you haven’t purchased is stealing, and produce should be washed before eating, since you have no idea where it has been or with what it has been in contact.”

Sadly, the lessons that woman taught her daughter were: “If you want something, even if it’s not yours, it’s OK to just take it. After all, it’s just one green bean; you deserve it and the business owner can afford it. Should you become ill due to your misadventure, blame the producer, because it certainly can’t be your fault.”

Oh well, at least mom selected a nutritious green bean instead of a cookie.

Carol Kemmerer

Hallowell