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Letter: How do people justify stealing from others?

How do people justify stealing from others?

When I was much younger, on Valentine’s Day, our dad would go to a candy shop in South Buffalo and purchase each of us a chocolate heart. On each heart, written in white icing, was our name. You knew, plain and simple, that the heart with your name was yours and no one else’s. Thus we were taught not to take our siblings’ chocolate. It was a clear rule and easy to follow, lest the wrath of dad.

Lately it seems I keep reading about people stealing – taking from their employers what is not theirs. Where do these people “see” their name on someone else’s property or cash? How do they reason in their heads that they are not stealing? How are they raising their children? How do they explain to them when they are caught and prosecuted? How is taking something that is not theirs OK?

In the latest one I read, the thief considered herself “overworked and underpaid.” If I felt that way, I would be searching for a new job.

Twice now, I have found purses in grocery store shopping carts and taken them to the customer service counter. One time a gentleman in line commented, “Wow, that’s really honest of you.” I replied, “It’s not mine.”

I wish for the days when all it took to be a good, honest, decent human being was a look from your parents.

Evie Primerano


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