The Family Hypothetical ~ What Would You Do?

I saw an intriguing question on Facebook posted by my sister Cindy, who’s literally a scientist if that matters.

Well, what definitely matters is extremely early in her scientist-ing she quit working for big drug companies to take a significant pay cut and teach in public high schools. She teaches kids of all levels, but through an advanced placement program she helps a lot of public high school kids earn college credit. Anyway, back to her intriguing question:


You are in bed, house all locked up for the night, and there is a pounding on your front door…

Cautiously you look through the peephole…

A family stands there, they have been chased out of their house by a group of gunmen…

Do you really tell them they should go back home and leave you alone?

My Answer

I think we are all inclined to say we would not tell the family to go home. But almost all of us would.

We are all as foolish and as out of control as the recovering alcoholic who says–before he goes to the bar–that he can go to the bar and not have a drink when surrounded by it.

There’s so much cruelty and neglect in the world. I don’t believe for a second that it’s caused by a few bad apples. I don’t believe in bad apples. Just us.

We are neither better than the people who chase the refugees away nor better than the people who fearfully refuse to take the refugees in.

People disagree about political ideas because politics is theoretical and hypothetical. But, in reality, the battle is just each man versus himself.

And we’re all in that battle together on the same side. We are #InItTogether.

What do you think? What would do? Please post your answer as a comment below.

If you like my answer, make sure to follow me @scottmhughes. I’m planning to release a new book very soon! 😀

Published by Scott Hughes

I am the author of Achieve Your Dreams. I also published the book Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction. I have two kids who I love so much. I just want to be a good role model for them. I hope what I do here makes them proud of me. Please let me know you think about the post by leaving a comment below!

Join the Conversation


  1. I would take them in. I’ve always been inclined to help others and recently took my teen sister in. I believe in karma also. A good deed shall bring good fortune but if you turn someone away you will have bad fortune, or at least expect the same to happen to you if you need a helping hand.

  2. Interesting question. I would love to say that I would be so open mind and willing to help them out. Everyone needs help every once in awhile. What would scare me is thinking of all the horrible things that people choose to do when someone is trying to be helpful and kind. Taking advantage of a kind heart.

    I am going to send a question back. What about the other people that would involved, after you make your decision? My first thought was to my children and husband that would also be sleeping in the house. Do I put them at risk to help this family?

    I would probably wake up my husband and make him help with with the decision. I live in the middle of nowhere so there isn’t a lot of other places for the family to turn. I would try to get them to town and at least get them a roof over their head. I hope??

  3. My point in posing the scenerio was to point out to that if you wouldnt send that family back home, then its very hypocritical to turn around and say the refugees should be turned away…which was intended to hopefully get some of my normally compassionate friends to rethink their non-compasdionate stance regarding the refugee situation.

    However, Scott’s response makes me wonder…..would those “compassionate” friends really help the family on their door step? Or would their decision be affected the clothing or skin color on the family?

  4. This is a really tough question for me and I’ve given this a lot of thought since I read this post when it first came up.

    If a family came to my house and needed help, I would not turn my back. Chances are, I know them because they may be my neighbors and I would be confident that they don’t want to kill me.

    Refugees are people, too. They are people in dire need and trying to escape a war-torn country. They’re displaced and are running for their lives. I’m grateful that we have not faced that in our country but my problem is that even though the majority of these people just want peace in their lives, the Koran says to kill the infidels. We are the infidels.

    I’m a humanitarian. I look after my fellow man and help anybody who needs it. This should be an easy issue for me because I have such a strong sense of duty when it comes to helping people. That’s why we’re here. We’re supposed to help each other. You never know when it might be you or someone you love in that situation and you would certainly want somebody to help. Right?

    It isn’t that easy when you know these people have been taught since birth to hate anyone who isn’t Muslim. I ask myself several questions:

    1. Are we inviting violence and terrorism into our fine country?
    2. What about the millions of homeless who already live on the streets? Who is taking care of them?
    3. Can this country take on the financial burden? We’re already short-changing our social security recipients and the government is broke. Where is the money going to come from?
    4. The unemployment rates are already high. Where are these people going to work to sustain themselves? Do they even want to sustain themselves?

    People fear what they do not understand and I do not understand the Islamic religion. I see the radical Islamics beheading Christians and either holding up their heads like they’re trophies or merely dragging their bodies into a heap like they are garbage. Those are the images that I’m sure most people associate with Islam and we’re bringing people into our country who are of the same ilk. It’s pretty scary.

    Unfortunately, this issue is not black and white. As I said, I am a humanitarian. I don’t want to see anyone suffer. On the other hand, I don’t want to live in fear and I don’t want my children live in fear.

    I have no answers and am simply asking the Creator for guidance.

  5. Honestly, I do not know what I would do. One’s first duty is to protect the people they are personally responsible for. When people have children or spouse, it is an unsaid promise to protect them as much as possible at all times. Not knowing the true intent of others, that situation could end up a disaster for ones family. It would be feasible to call social services for them and the police, who would be better able to help them. Then again, I might feel strong enough to also invite them into my home. Not sure until I am faced with such a scenario.

  6. I think Kristi made very good points. I think it may only be half the picture though.

    The Christian religion throughout history has thrown up its fair share of fundamentalists who ran around murdering lots of people. Why do we not see this very much any more?

    Perhaps it is because the moderate Christians and others forced the church out of their position of absolute power at the top of the pile by placing law above religion. This means a fanatic who tries to justify murder in the name of God is no longer justified and is just a murderer. But this has to come from within the religion in that moderate Muslims, who we really should let into our homes if they’re at the gates with guns at their backs, need to accept and teach their kids that the law of at least human rights comes above their religion. If they think their religion dictates a certain action it must be tested against human rights and if it fails then it is not correct action. The Bible dictates murdering lots of different types of people and such murders have happened through history (sorry for that Muslims and all others, it was just OUR crazies acting up). Christians are forced to accept, and for the most part do, that human rights sit above the dictates of book/church/preacher. They are stomped on if they try to force otherwise, or they kill themselves.

    How can we teach the Muslim religion to moderate itself without accepting it within the total of who we are as humanity? On principle we need to let them come in if they accept the premise that human rights sits above their religion.

    In reality this principle also needs to be moderated by resource availability. Your original article only has one family at the gates. What if it was ten? A hundred? What then? A country should have the right to monitor resource availability and control access. Simply throwing open the gates cannot work long term.

  7. I probably wouldn’t even get up to answer the door.
    In all seriousness, I am not sure what I would do. My actions would more than likely be determined by the circumstances. Is my family home? Does it appear the people will come after me even if I send the family away? Is there a chance this family is working with the belligerents? Am I on my rocker or off
    In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t let them in. I know this isnt the moral choice. However, Is the moral choice always the best choice?

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