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When Does It Become “Hoarding”?

Even the frozen broccoli's gone/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

I’m not accusing you, just asking you. But if it feels like an accusation, maybe there’s a reason for that.

In normal times, compulsive hoarding is a psychological disorder.

Right now, it takes the form of people bringing their kids to HEB and having each member of the family buy eggs or flour up to the purchaser limit.

Which is the only reason you aren’t able to buy a carton or sack for yourself. Retailers are delivering multiples of their normal inventory per store. Some San Antonians are buying exponentially more than that.

The retailers can’t solve this. Only we can, by examining what we are doing.

Hoarding insane amounts of staples is human nature gone beserk. Putting our trust or security in quantities.

We are all feeling some level of anxiety. Looking for certainty. A garage full of toilet paper or a spare fridge full of eggs is still going to leave another kind of emptiness.

It won’t satisfy.

It will deprive others.

Don’t get me wrong. Big families need big grocery orders. My mom went through an entire loaf of bread a day when we were a growing family of six.

But big families have always been with us, and HEB or Walmart knows how to keep enough on-hand for them. No sweat.

Ecclesiastes 5:11 says “the abundance of a rich man allows him no sleep”.

1 Timothy 6:18 says “…be rich in good works, be generous, ready to share…”

Prepare, yes. Feed and take care of those you love.

But, please, love the neighbor you don’t know.

Just by leaving something on the shelf for others.


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