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.
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?