On February 2, 2017 I walked onto my porch at 9:00 AM and realized that my car had taken on the attribute of invisibility during my sleep the prior night. Not knowing what had happened I went back in the house and asked my wife if she had lent the car to someone to which she promptly replied “No. Why?” and I had to explain that I believed our car had been stolen in the night. Which leads me here. Let’s talk about stealing!
While the world’s oldest profession may be prostitution I’m going to go out on a limb and say the second oldest was created when some asshole robbed a working girl. Thieves have always been and will continue to be in our midst working in the shadows to ensure that they profit the most from our “misfortune”. But what drives people to such lengths? Why would someone think its okay to just take what they want at the expense of other people? Why would stealing ever enter a persons mind in the first place?
The first cause, of course, is desperation. Desperation has been known throughout the ages to cause men to do all manner of crazy things, not the least of all is stealing. If you’re starving and someone else has more than enough you might find yourself in the situation where you’re forced to steal to survive. Or if you’re electricity is off and it’s 30 degrees outside stealing might not seem like a bad idea. While still being the lowest action one can take to resolve their problems at least these are understandable. Beyond desperation the waters get a little shallow – dive in with caution.
Of course there are others who can’t control their impulse to steal. Kleptomania is a mental disorder where people cannot control themselves and feel the need to steal even if the object being stolen is not needed and sometime not even wanted. But we’re not here to talk about these people.
A person may be stealing to feed their family, but they may also do so to feed their ego. This person may have some inherent desire to prove that he is smarter than his victim, or the police and as such goes to great lengths to prove it. They steal for bragging rights. While the object in question may not be something they truly want or desire, they will generally take something with financial or emotional worth to their victims.
And our final gem is the person who steals because they want to. There are various reasons why this person steals. Maybe they desire to own something that they don’t and since life won’t give it to them they take it. Or a gang member who has to do it to pass initiation into the gang they want to join. They may be thrill seekers that do it for the adrenaline rush. Whatever the reason these pillars of humanity are the people I want to discuss.
While people may have a mental disorder or life situation that forces their hand there are plenty of people that steal not out of necessity but out of spite or desire. These people prey off businesses and individuals to serve their own ends by taking what they want and justifying it to themselves. These parasites on society believe it is their right to have whatever they desire handed to them.
Plato once said that no deed is done out of evil. Which, for the most part I agree with. Most people, even those who commit the most heinous acts, I believe, are doing so because they think they are justified. Hitler for example probably felt justified because in his warped little mind he thought he was doing the world a favor. Because he believed his acts would lead to a better world – to him – the ends justified the means. It makes his act no less horrifying, only offers some explanation.
As to a thief their processes of justifying their means doesn’t have to be as large as Hitler’s. They only need to feel slighted, like the world has cast them a bad lot in life. They think they deserve something so stealing becomes a viable option. They are envious of what someone else has, so they’ll take it away. They are a metaphoric red-faced child throwing a tantrum. And while in the short-term they will get the results they want, eventually it will all come crumbling down and they’ll get a shiny new set of wrist bracelets.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I think of thieves as low-life, degenerate scum and really cannot stand their existence. The fact is though they do exist, and contribute to a large amount of the crime in the United States. According to the FBI statistics there were 1,579,000 burglaries(does not include larceny or vehicle theft) in 2015. To put that in perspective that’s 1 in every 140 adults nationwide. How many Facebook friends do you have? Chances are you know someone, several people, that will get robbed in some fashion over the course of the next year.
Now the statistics were kind of fuzzy on which of the above categories most of these robberies fell into. I have to assume, though, that a large portion of those crimes were committed by people without any good reason (outside of ones they cooked up) to do so. There is actually a trend downward of crime in America but we are still at a rate that similar to that of the early 1980’s. [It may be pertinent to note that the rates reached their peak in the late 80’s and early 90’s.]
Why, with the introduction of all our technologies have we not been able to successfully quell the numbers of thefts in recent years? There are cameras everywhere. Everything you do can be tracked online. We can place a tiny receiver in a car that can completely disable it at the touch of a button. We have GPS units that will fit in just about everything and track it to within a few meters. Why on Earth is every criminal out there not caught almost immediately and thrown in jail so the rest of us can create a functioning society?
One: It would cost too much. We can’t put that many people in jail and let them sit because we’d all go broke trying to support them. Which, of course, is what they want anyway. They want us to be forced to support them. Why give them what they want?
Two(actually two fold): It would cost too much and completely destroy your privacy. To put tech in everything we own that would prevent its theft would be so cost prohibitive that we would actually have very little to be stolen. Not to mention that GPS in everything you own means someone would know every time you took a piss.
Three: We are producing red-faced children. No one can do their jobs anymore if it involves discipline. You can’t spank your kid or they’ll be taken away and you may be jailed. Police can’t enforce the law for fear of losing their livelihood and being sued or arrested themselves. There’s no more discipline.
Let’s address the one we could fix. We can stop adults from acting like the world owes them something by teaching our children values like patience and respect. Teaching them how to make themselves prosperous no matter their lot in life. The ability to overcome hardship in new and inventive ways is what pushes society forward. The fact that we have millions of people in our population today overcoming hardship by spreading it around makes me sad.
When I was young and stupid I got arrested. I remember the look on the officer’s face when he told me he was calling my parents and I begged him to lock me up. He knew he was making the right move. That kind of fear doesn’t exist anymore. At the time I didn’t show my parents enough respect, but they made sure I had a healthy fear and sense of when I’d done wrong.
We coddle our children well into adulthood these days. We give them participation trophies. And lead them to believe that so long as they work hard any ambition they chase will come to eventually be prosperous. There’s no fear of failure until it happens in their adult lives and shatters their world.
So we’ve ended up with young adult-like humans who have never experienced any real pain or hardship – never known failure. These people believe they should be paid six figures to play Xbox and eat Cheetos. Go research equal prosperity and you’ll be shocked that people believe wealth will magically manifest itself to them.
But I digress
Getting back to the point these mommy-coddled, red-faced kids that like to throw tantrums until the get their way are faced with a harsh reality when they get to the real world. No body cares about you. You will succeed or fail on your own merit and if your new organic, gluten-free, bug protein based Doritos fail to make it to production – you fail. And we end up having to support them because the government coddles them.
In this scenario they do not live in the life of luxury, but they can play video games in a government paid-for apartment, eating government paid-for Cheetos and playing Xbox while stealing their internet connection from a neighbor. And when the newest, latest, greatest gadget to ever grace the market with its presence presents itself with a $700 price tag how do you think these people react? The way they have been taught. They take what they deserve.
Mommy and daddy taught them that the world is their oyster. The world kicked them in the crotch and now the world owes them because it was mean.
In the end of all this my car is gone. I’ll have to pony up for a new deductible and down payment. Meanwhile the jackass responsible for stealing it will probably get less out of it than what I’ll pay in the down payment for my next car. It may even end up in a field and be useless to anyone. And yet, the media in this country would have you believe we should coddle criminals and protect our children from hardship into their 30’s. What a load of garbage.
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