Human Dignity - Bob Barker: Is the Price Right?

Brian Finamore

On Wednesday July 4th the Mad Hatter Olde British Pub was a buzz with young adults passionately discussing the issues of justice.  Brian Finamore’s talk on “Human Dignity - Bob Barker: Is the Price Right?” gave us a lot to think about.  It was the first talk in a four part Faith Connections’ Theology on Tap Justice Series being held this July.  

Every person has human dignity by virtue of being created and loved by God.  Jesus encourages us to treat all people with dignity: “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters you do for me” (Matt 25.45).  Finamore is inspired to live this teaching when he remembers his encounter with Mackenzie.  

In his student years Brian enjoyed part time jobs as a waiter.  However, there were always those days when you felt like your shift would never end.  The day Finamore met Mackenzie was one of those days.  The restaurant was quiet, and Brian’s shift was drawing to an end.  He was getting excited about going home when in walked Mackenzie.  Mackenzie only ordered a scotch, which he seemed to nurse forever.  Brian was getting agitated - was this guy just going to sit there, drink all evening and not order any food?  In his agitation Brian was rude to Mackenzie but Mackenzie did not seem to notice.  Just when Brian felt like he was going to explode, Mackenzie ordered French onion soup, a steak AND dessert!  It was very rare for one person to order so many expensive items.  This put Brian in a better mood and he began to be more pleasant with Mackenzie.  At the end of the evening Mackenzie left a $15 tip.  Brian felt horrible – he had been rude and this was one of the biggest tips he had ever received!

As fate would have it, Brian ran into Mackenzie the next day in the airport.  At first Brian wished he could sink into the floor and hide.  But before long Brian got up the courage to go over and speak with Mackenzie.  He introduced himself reminding Mackenzie of where they had met and proceeded to apologize profusely for his rudeness.  Mackenzie said it was okay, he himself was out of sorts that evening. You see Mackenzie’s wife had died that evening after a battle with cancer.  Mackenzie had come into the restaurant to be quiet and to have a nice meal as he savored memories of his wife.  Brian was devastated – before him was a man who had just lost his wife and all Brian had been concerned with was the tip he would receive and getting home.  Meeting Mackenzie was a profound experience for Brian.  He explained to the young adults at the Mad Hatter “I always look for Mackenzie now when I am busy because I know in him I’ll find Jesus.”  We meet Mackenzies daily and Jesus calls us to treat each of them with love and dignity.   

May we all have the courage and the grace to love as Jesus calls us to.

Vanessa Nicholas, Faith Connections Coordinator

Photo By: Mark Longo