Just before Easter, Carl Wallace had his business burglarized. At least someone attempted a burglary. Security footage shows the Georgia man’s eatery, Diablo’s Southwest Grill, being rummaged through by a man who attempted to steal money from the empty cash register.
While the man left empty handed, he gifted Wallace a shattered front door due to the brick he launched through the glass upon entry. Irritated, the business owner got busy arranging repairs.
“You know my initial response was, you know, anger, frustration,” he told TODAY.“I realized that we’re gonna have to kind of put up a Facebook post about our door looking really, really bad because here we are going to put up two sheets of plywood over the front door to just get through the day.”
But as Wallace continued to think about the incident, his anger turned to compassion as he thought how desperate situations can lead people to make poor life choices. So he decided to do something completely opposite of what you’d expect from someone whose business was just vandalized.
“It really kind of occurred to me (that it’s) … Easter weekend and to just extend an olive branch,” he explained. “You know, extend the layer of forgiveness and kindness and give the … would-be robber some redemption and a different path.”
He decided to compose a message on his Facebook page stating that he wanted to be the catalyst for helping this unknown man out of his desperate situation, and on a path of independence and good decision making. For Wallace, that meant offering the burglar a job at the store he had just broken into.
In his Facebook post Wallace says, “Our burritos are such a smash hit we’ve got people breaking in at 4am for their fix. So if ya see our door looking hurricane fabulous at Wheeler Rd this is why.”
“To the would be robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues… please swing by for a job application. There are better opportunities out there than this path you’ve chosen. No police, no questions. Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you’re on. Sincerely Carl,” he continued.
While the man has yet to come forward, Wallace’s incredible gracious and magnanimous approach garnered huge attention from all over the world. He has received all sorts of messages praising him for his response to a situation he had every right to be angry over. But from Wallace’s perspective, pressing charges could do more harm than good in the long run for this particular situation.
“Putting this person through incarceration to then get out to make it harder to find a good-paying job,” he explained. “It only makes it worse. Sometimes … even I feel that our system in life is broken sometimes for some people … We’ve been doing the same thing for 200 years and it’s not worked.”
“Maybe everybody should offer some kindness and a way to help the fellow person versus continuing to harm what is already broken.”