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I don't think the meaning in this story has anything to do with going hungry...the teen was acting out because there was no one around that was willing to show him how to act...
There is never a valid reason to rob anyone, as here in America, especially NYC, you are never going to go hungry if you don't want to.
Diaz replied, "Well, haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"
"Yea, but I didn't think people actually behaved that way," the teen said.