What manner of thievery is this!?

Question, isn’t petty theft still theft? I mean some of the biggest thefts on record involve taking just a little from a lot of people.  According to the bible even petty theft is still a sin.  So why, is there so much theft in our society? It seems to cross all races and income statuses. So it’s not just the poor stealing from the rich, it’s an all out free for all.

Have you ever stolen anything? Did you get caught? Did you feel bad, or did you feel nothing at all, or even happy that you got away with it?

I think many of us try it at least once when we’re kids, but what I have had the hardest time wrapping my head around is that not all parents teach their children that stealing is bad or even wrong.  This fact boggles my brain and makes me very angry.  It also makes we wish for it to be legal to protect my possessions with deadly force.  I witness theft all the time.  I try to do something about it when I feel it’s warranted, but often times because it’s petty nothing comes of it so I just stay silent.

When should you stand up and when should you stay silent? I guess that depends on you and how you feel about thieves and theft in general. I have come to realize that feelings and beliefs vary widely on this subject.

I once witnessed and reported some pretty major theft at a place where I worked and nothing was done about it.  So I learned a valuable lesson about how and when to stand up.

I have seen multiple examples of petty theft encouraged by a parent. One just yesterday, hence this post.  I will share it with you now.

So my wife and I are in our card studio (i.e. dining room) making greeting cards. Our front door is open so we can hear the activity from the street.  I hear people walking by.  Lots of people walk in the evening.  It was a mother and a toddler girl and perhaps a friend or a mother.  Another female. I hear the young mother coaching her toddler girl to take just one rock. Over and over she keeps telling her to just take one.  I fly to the door to witness yet another person stealing the rocks from our front yard. I say loudly, and sternly, EXCUSE ME! and the mother then says “oh the lady saw you and she doesn’t want you to take her rocks, you need to put it back” She repeats this a couple times because now the toddler has the rock and doesn’t want to return it.  Finally, because they knew I was watching she puts it back.  The message to the child and anyone listening is clear… it’s okay to steal if no one’s looking.  It’s petty I know, it’s a stupid little white rock, but we paid for those rocks and this isn’t the first time, nor is it likely to be the last.  Years ago when the first big drought hit California, in an effort to conserve water, we took out our lawn and put in pretty white rocks with beautiful purple and green glass rocks scattered throughout (expensive pretty glass rocks).  It never occurred to me that people would steal them.  They were stolen so often that we had to remove them.  Now we just have the white rocks and even those get stolen pretty regularly.  It saddens and angers me that I cannot have the beautiful snowy rocks with the glints of purple and green that match our house and our theme because of asshole thieves that cannot and will not behave themselves.

Try to imagine this with the pretty glass purple and green strewn throughout
Try to imagine this with the pretty glass purple and green strewn throughout. It was beautiful.

 

We don’t live in a bad neighborhood.  I would say it is mostly middle class, but sadly there are thieves in all walks of life. How do you feel about theft?  Is it ever okay?, or is just plain wrong?

10 thoughts on “What manner of thievery is this!?

  1. I’m with you here. People often think we intuitively know what’s right and what’s wrong. For some things, maybe we do. But that’s not a guarantee, and that’s why parents have to instill these values. When I was five, I stole a pen from a drugstore. My mother found out, and she made me get my piggy bank, marched me to the drugstore, and then made me return the pen and pay for it as well since I’d opened and used it. I was sobbing the whole time. (I was such a shy kid as it was.) The drugstore owner proceeded to tell me I was never welcome there again, which, as I look back now, seems a bit harsh. Still, it worked. It was the best thing my mom could’ve done. I’ve never stolen another thing since. Even now, if I find money on the ground and there’s no way to know whose it was, I put it in a donation box in a store. Perhaps I was scarred for life. 😉

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  2. That’s the same type of lesson we taught our boys. We made them take it back and apologize and pay. I was taught that same lesson when I took a can of soda once. I think we were scarred for life in a good way Carrie. 🙂 It’s too bad not all parents are teaching these same values. You are one of my best commenters. I just want to say how much I appreciate YOU. 🙂

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  3. I think if someone is stealing to survive (food, water, etc.) it’s still wrong but I may empathize considering the circumstances. I do feel that all theft is wrong, though & we should teach the little ones right from wrong at a young age.
    I don’t blame you. I would have been ticked off too.

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  4. Daydreams thank you so much for reading and commenting. It’s great to see you here. I was pretty ticked..but I think mostly because it has happened so often and with no regard to the fact that it’s wrong and it’s a crime. Sighs… yeah it’s not like they were starving… they were stealing designer rocks. LOL

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  5. cindy

    Stealing is stealing no matter the value or if it seems petty. I was about 5 when iI took a yo yo from 2Guys department store in NJ. Mom made me return it. You were right Dani for saying something to that parent. Great read.

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  6. It’s just amazing that some parents aren’t teaching their children that it’s wrong. It always makes me smile to see comments from you sweet Cindy. I know I owe you an email. 🙂

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  7. From a moral standpoint, stealing is just plain wrong. Yet people (could be anybody in society, not just poor) steal for psychological reasons. Some of them are deep seated unconscious compulsions because they feel disempowered or inadequate, or have a sense of entitlement because life owes them something. Whatever the reason, most ppl won’t stop unless they are caught and feel shame/ remorse. So I’m with you, not in a judgemental way, but i would call them out just to let thieves know that’s not acceptable behavior and won’t be tolerated by me. It may make a difference, because sometimes ppl just need to hear it consciously. Thanks for sharing this story!

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  8. Ciao Sweet Dani!

    Ahh that’s no good 😦 Can’t believe she only made her toddler put it back because you’re watching. Why not immediately tell her to just stay away from the rocks? Parenting starts from the start and you can’t be wishy-washy with it. Such a shame that the rocks are being stolen though. It’s one of the reasons my parents don’t want to put decoration on the two pillars they have at the front door. I wanted to add small pots with flowers/plants, as I also think that no one would steal it, but the parents are afraid that it will get stolen.

    I can totally picture the purple and green amongst the white! It must have looked so gorgeous. ^_^

    xo!

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    1. It did TJ, it was so pretty especially when the sun shone on it. I use to have another house in a different city and it had a front door that was on the side and not visible from the street. Weird.. I always thought it was weird, but anyway, I have long been against smoking and I found this adorable magnet that you would normally put on your fridge. It looked like a parking sign and it said “Don’t even think of smoking here!” I loved it. I thought it was a funny way to let people know we are a non-smoking household. We had metal insulated front doors so I put it on the front door. Someone stole it, of course, sighs… I guess they thought it was as cool as I did and had conscience about taking it. 😦 Always great to see you here sweet TJ. 🙂

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