Have you seen the painting by Norman Rockwell showing a woman buying her Thanksgiving turkey? The turkey is lying on the scales and the butcher is standing behind the counter. The customer, a lovely lady of about 60, is watching. Each of them has a pleased look, but the expression on their faces indicates that something unusual is going on. They look as if they are sharing a joke with one another. Rockwell lets us in on the joke by showing us their hands. The butcher is pushing down on the scales with a big fat thumb. The woman is pushing up on them with a dainty forefinger. Neither is aware of what the other is doing.
Both the butcher and the lady would never consider themselves thieves. The lady would never rob a bank. The butcher would never steal a car. Neither saw anything wrong with a little deception that would make a few cents for one or save a few cents for the other.
How carefully we must guard against the temptation to take that which is another’s: to steal. Maybe it is because times are tougher or maybe it is because morals are lower, but there seems to be a lot of thievery going on these days. The shame in it all is that this type of lifestyle does not offend the sensibilities of the masses like it used to. In some ways we even laud the actions of these “Robin Hoodish” men and women. As a child growing up with five brothers and one sister, we used to quote Robin Hood this way when we would swipe something from each other, “I rob from the rich and give to the poor – and who is poorer than I?” We thought that if we could justify the cause, we could legitimize the action. Sound familiar?
Many are like the man who wrote the IRS an anonymous note that said; “Enclosed please find $150. I cheated on my taxes last year and have not had a restful night’s sleep since. If I still can’t sleep well after this, I’ll send you the rest.” So many have trained their hearts and minds to accept less than the best from themselves. Doing the right thing is an exercise of conscience and will. We must be determined to take the high road. I might add that we need to take this road even when others are travelling the lower road. Yes, I know that “everyone else is doing it” and look at the mess that has gotten us into.
Some folks just keep trying new ways to cheat, bamboozle, swindle, dupe, con, trick, hoodwink, or steal from others. If one way doesn’t work, they switch to another. They are like the man standing on the corner, with a pair of crutches under his arms, begging. A passerby dropped a five dollar bill in his cup and said, “Cheer up buddy, things could be worse, you could be blind.” The beggar replied, “I tried being blind last week and folks kept slipping me fake money.”
As long as people keep inventing new ways to steal, those who do right will continue to shine like beacons. The average person on the street will tell you that, even though they might “fudge a little” in their life, they still want to do business with an honest person. As everybody’s mom used to say, “Winners never cheat and cheaters never win.” (If your mom didn’t say that – she should have) Don’t Steal.
ABR CDPE SFR SRES
Broker, Owner, REALTOR®
210-B Seville Street.
Florence, AL 35630
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