Sunday, September 4, 2011

People Who Steal Things - Memories

My previous post about dangerous people stirred memories of people who have stolen from us.

Recently someone came in the night and dug up a huge landscaping plant at the entrance to our community. What am I supposed to do, put a good light on it? Give the thief the benefit of the doubt? Think that maybe he was needy and had a good use for it? What I thought was, "If they would do that, what else would they do?"

A new home is being constructed on the property next to ours. When construction first started, someone came in the night and drove off with a huge earth-mover. A small-time builder's gotta do what a small-time builder's gotta do? Is that it?

When Kathleen and I lived in Miami Beach, people stole from us all the time. Kathleen's car was stolen twice. And sometimes people would come in the night and dig up plants. It was disheartening.

I remember walking around to the backyard once and seeing a woman cutting roses from our rose bush. I said to her, "That's not your rose bush. It's my wife's rose bush. Please don't cut any more roses." Her reply: "But you have so much." That wasn't true. We didn't have so much.

The day after we were married, Kathleen's mother's purse was stolen from her while we ate breakfast in a restaurant. She didn't realize it until after breakfast. Neither the restaurant nor the police showed much interest.

One time when we were having a yard sale, a lot of our stuff was shoplifted. We were too trusting, I guess.

And when we put our home up for sale, a mother-daughter team hit us. The mother posed as a realtor. While the daughter went excitedly from room to room, the mother stuffed an expensive knife from a kitchen drawer into her purse. Easy pickings.

I wanted to put Miami Beach in my rear view mirror, but Kathleen loved the diversity and its charms. The last straw for her was when she was shopping in the grocery store. She was still weak from chemotherapy and was gazing at the store shelves when someone stole her shopping cart. Luckily, her purse wasn't in it, just six or eight cloth shopping bags. But the incident was a personal violation at the wrong time, and it broke her heart.

We moved to Vero Beach, a virtual paradise. Until the hurricanes chased us off in 2004. The housing market burst after we left, and lots of homes were foreclosed, including the home of a friend of ours down the street. Another friend told us that there's a real problem with people breaking into these vacated homes and stealing everything they can.

It's Sunday. Day of rest. I should be relaxing peacefully, watching sports on TV, or puttering in the back garden, so why am I thinking about burglary and petty theft and wondering, "If they would do that, what else would they do?"

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you're right, of course. But remember, right now, somewhere close to you, someone is doing something lovely for someone else. Someone is being kind. x the empty chair x