Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sticky Fingers

I was standing in line at the pharmacy today and, like I will do, took a moment to sense out the person in line in front of me. I am trying to not sound racist with this comment so here goes. The woman was middle aged, likely Muslim with head scarf and full dress to the floor. She was buying something small with a debit card. I had a flash in my mind, wondering if her pocket money was limited, how much she might have to account for what she was buying - I admit I thought that because of the way she was dressed. As she made her way to the door, two plain clothes men came swiftly to her side, asking her if she had put anything unpaid for in her pocket. She readily admitted to having a lipstick in her pocket and a small conversation followed as to whether it was new. She was taken in the back and I guess the police were called. I was torn between feeling frightened for the woman, having to face authorities and later her husband. But then I thought, not knowing the whole story, maybe she shoplifts for other reasons. Except for a little daring period when I was around 10 or 11, I am scrupulous about conscious theft, believing that money is an energy that can easily be abused. I like having money though, and work hard for what I earn. How honest are you?


Beth said...

My last "five finger discount" took place at the age of 8 - penny candy - and I felt so guilty I didn't even enjoy it.

Sometimes I wonder - can one be too honest?

sherry lee said...

I think I am honest to a fault (so others would tell me). I shoplifted some gum when I was about 7 (at the urging of a friend) and told my mother when I got home. She in turn made me return it and apologize, which I did (nearly peed my pants) and I was forever after okay about going into that store.

And you raise an excellent point here...we don't know other people's stories and it is easy to judge or condemn without knowing the whole story.