Saturday, October 30, 2010

Total thieves

I dropped my IPhone between the car and the restaurant at noon. An eyewitness 2 tables over described it - black IPhone with white protective surround. She saw a young woman in med. brown long hair picked it up, show it to her male companion, and walk toward the bar entry. The couple must have changed their minds about a lunchtime drink: the security camera doesn't show them entering the bar.

They took my phone! "The gal looked right at me, which is how I remember her face. I would remember her," said Nadine, who saw the couple.

Of course I closed down my phone account, changed as many passwords as I could remember being on it, and filed a police report. AT&T didn't charge us for the immediate 2 hour call to Romania, either.

Not long ago, our daughter worked her last day before beginning a few months of disability. None of her coworkers remarked that they'd miss her, wished her well, or paid any attention to the extra hours she put in the final week. Her body wracked with pain, she ramped up her output, knowing she'd be out of the office to rest and recover. She could have just taken the week off, according to her docs, but didn't want to leave the company hanging. No one seemed to care, either about her or her efforts.

These two incidents reminded me of the times several public school moms would grill me about how our home-schooled children could be properly socialized, without constant interaction with peers. "I think they'll be fine," I said, watching their own kids growing up. Those "well-socialized" peers look through people they pass on the sidewalk, would never stoop to say hello to a stranger, and have no time left over to care for others. Big generalization, I know. But hopefully our kids notice the hurting. I know they'd turn in a lost IPhone without hesitation.

It's the conscience -less effrontery in American society that makes me catch my breath. The core value of "It's all about me, all of the time, unless I get some benefit from helping you" upsets me. My parents, my husband, our children, and I did not grow up hearing we were "the prettiest, the strongest, the smartest, and you're better than other kids." I hope we have a realistic view of our capabilities and healthy self-esteem, but we know our limits. There's always someone more needy and many people more proficient than we are - so we enjoy input from others and serving others.

Jesus told us to care for our neighbors. But "positive affirmations" without substance have produced a selfish culture that cultivates its own interests, ignorant of the implications for a healthy society. It's made us total thieves of others' time, resources, and energy in pursuit of our own happiness. And made us (and sister UK) among the most selfish, unhappiest nations in the world, according to recent studies.

Yeah, I'm ticked with the thieves, but I'm also angry at my generation, who taught them "Do your own thing. It's all about you, baby!" (BTW: I look for websites of "free photos" for illustrations.)

Read more:
*Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. Proverbs 21:17 NLT

*Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:4-6 NLT

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