What I Learned Today From Watching Someone Steal

Today started with an amazing high. I got on the scale and discovered that I’d hit my goal weight! I’m 5’4’ and finally hit 125 lbs. I had been at 136/137 for about a year, and had latched on to the number 134 for several years before that. There’s nothing wrong with any of those numbers, of course, but I didn’t feel like my best self. This new number I haven’t seen in years! Perhaps it’s due to my vegan (technically vegetarian, since I eat egg whites) lifestyle, which I started on November 20, 2015. Perhaps it’s due to my break-up, and not going out to eat every weekend. Whatever it is, I’m grateful. And I treated myself to a gym membership – Planet Fitness – in order to maintain my achievement. (Here are some pictures of: the free stuff they gave me when I joined the gym, the beautiful salad I had for lunch, and a narcissistic selfie).

Free stuff! Yay!
Free stuff! Yay!
Cilantro, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, lemon juice, rice vinegar. All organic. Mmm!
Cilantro, celery, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, lemon juice, rice vinegar. All organic. Mmm!
Feeling accomplished!
Feeling accomplished!

But then, after my workout, something happened when I stopped by the grocery store. While I was waiting to check out, two guys were ahead of me in line. One of the guys pocketed a bag of candy. What?! I haven’t seen a grown man steal, maybe ever – certainly not in recent memory. I considered telling the cashier, but he was a jovial guy and was very friendly with the two guys. I doubted he would do anything. My initial feeling was anger. But then it made me feel really sad. I couldn’t figure out why at first.

Then, I realized that people who steal must feel no sense of hope. Perhaps they feel that the only way they can have what they want in life is to take it from someone else. What a depressing mindset. Perhaps there’s also a sense of entitlement. This person wanted what they wanted. That’s all that mattered, not right and wrong.  It reminded me of how I felt when an ex told me that he regularly stole little bottles of water from the bookstore of the spiritual center where he worked. It wasn’t the water that bothered me. They were only $1.00, and sometimes the clerk would allow staff members to take freebies. What bothered me was his justification – “They don’t pay me what I’m worth anyway. They should just be grateful to have me.” My heart sank. Though I stayed with him for several months after that, it was a little piece of The End. Whatever the justification, this kind of attitude is a virtual guarantee of either poverty, or the fearful insecurity that comes with poverty. Rich people who cheat and steal have no more peace of mind than the average petty thief on the street.

I think there is a link between this type of attitude and low self-esteem. People who truly value themselves know that there’s always enough. There is no need to take anything from somebody else. People who truly value themselves value others; they do not want to hurt others in any way, certainly not by stealing. People who truly value themselves know that character is a currency. Unlike money, which is gained and lost all the time, character is priceless and impossible to lose, except through one’s own actions. The Bible says “The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper” (Proverbs 19:8).  I take this to imply, “Don’t waste your life chasing after what you want. Become the kind of person who understands it, who embodies it, who deserves it. Then, it will come to you.”

In other news, I just began a 6-month internship with a literary agency. I’m helping them review new submissions and learning all I can. I love it! Also (thanks to my sister) someone expressed interest in hanging my art work in his restaurant. I have yet to work out the details, and see where this lead takes me, but I’m excited. And I plan to continue working on my new script this week. My personal life had overshadowed my work for a few weeks. But, now, since I have my trusty outline, I should be able to get back on track easily.

Life is good.

Happy Easter, Eostara, Spring Equinox!



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