Saturday, September 29, 2012


     I had the rare honor of being selected this week to be the lucky recipient of the "I'm going to break into your car award", presented by some lamewad that the Police have yet to track down.

     Yes, my car was broken into. At least they didn't get anything, right? No, wait, not right. Oh yeah, they got about $700 in tools that I use for work. I was about ready to set a baitcar surprise of my own after finding out and perch myself up in a sniper's nest to wait, I was so angry.

     Things are working out though, and though it is a major inconvenience, life will go on. This got me to thinking though, why do people steal? I heard a statistic once, not sure if it's true or not, but it sounds right. Something to the effect that 5% of the population will never steal, given the opportunity. They are morally grounded and stealing holds no temptation. 5% will always steal given the chance. These are the kleptomaniacs of the world, but also those who just don't care what people think or how they feel. They are predators. Scary thing is this group sounds like serial killers would fit in here somewhere too, but, I digress. Finally, 90% of the population will steal, but only if they know they won't get caught or the reward is high enough.

     So what do you think? I think that sounds about right. I mean, there are people, that no matter what, won't care about others. There are those that always care about others, and are considerate of them. And then there's the rest, who probably mean to do the right thing, but for whatever reason, can find themselves blinded by the temptation from time to time.

     And can a person change from one group to the next? If so, how? Can you imagine how much better this world would be if even 1 percentage point changed from those who might steal, given the circumstances, to those who would never steal? I sometimes wonder if the fast pace of our lives, the social media, the demanding schedules, the online shopping, the mega stores, what if all of this is helping to move people to another camp. The ones that have no qualms about taking things that aren't theirs. The lack of personal communication makes it easier to justify things, because the person finds themselves removed from recognizing someone else as a person.

     Think about it. Back when we had small grocers and butcher shops and dairies and the like people were much less likely to steal. That's because they weren't just shoplifting from a faceless conglomermart. They would be stealing from the owner, who they probably knew. Stealing from their family. Suddenly that changes things. It shouldn't, because stealing is stealing, but it does.

     I was listening to a podcast recently that talked about in the military how they teach that the farther removed you can get a person away from the person they need to kill, the easier it is for them psychologically. It's the same principle at work, isn't it? That's why nations at war tend to try to dehumanize the enemy, because then they are easier to hate and want to kill.

     I don't think that this is right. I think it's sad that in a world where we can literally talk across the span of the entire globe in seconds many people feel more alone, more cut off, and more detached than in earlier time periods.

     I'm not advocating getting rid of the internet, social media, or anything like it. But are we using it correctly? Is how we live our lives going to truly lead us to happiness and deeper more meaningful relationships? After all, I'd rather die knowing that I had true friends and family and community members that I got to know and love rather than having more facebook friends, twitter followers and blog readers than I knew what to do with.

     I'm going to climb down off of my soapbox, but these were just some thoughts that I've had circling round in my head since it happened. As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!